I was asked by the Royal Voluntary Service to help promote their research supporting their "Let's End Going Home Alone" campaign. The study looks into the hospital discharges of older people from the perspective of nurses.
Dud you know that 40% of patients over the age of 75 are actually well enough to be discharged from hospital yet delays continue to increase.
You can find out more information in this report from the BBC.
The main cause for the delays is lack of sufficient social care for older people. It is important for everyone that individuals get home and get back to their normal lives. This allows them to recover in the right way and also allows hospital services to be used for people who need to be in hospital.
Many of us have older people in our lives and it can be upsetting to think of them not receiving the care they need. The Royal Voluntary Service has a solution. The "Home From Hospital" service involves volunteers providing practical help to those needing that extra bit of support.
Some of the things that help can be provided for are getting them home safely after a stay in hospital, putting the heating on so they come home to a warm and welcoming house, making sure there is a supply of basic food in their home - things like bread and milk. Checking in on them regularly and supporting them for the first six weeks while they get back on their feet. Also providing a lift to medical appointments.
These are exactly the sorts of things that the man that I wrote about last week needed help with and that the lady continues to need help with.
You can also help to spread the word about the report via Twitter using the #HelpThemHome and following @RoyalVolService
But what you can really do, on a basic and grass roots level is to look out for those older people in your family, your neighbours, friends and in your community. Make sure that they get the help that they need. Offer a lift, collect a pint of milk for them when you go shopping, check that they really do have the heating on. Give them one of your old crocheted blankets to snuggle under!
Please spread the word. Help to make sure that our older people are not stuck in hospital for any longer than they have to be. I can tell you that they do so much better at home, in their own homes, than they ever do in hospital. Once the treatment is over, they need to be home.
Also, remember to support the people giving the support. They get worn out too!
Disclosure. I was asked to spread this important message to you. I have not received any compensation for this in any way. I am telling you about it because it is personal to me and I think that it is important.