Many Cheshire residents are worried about how their elderly family members can be discharged quickly after hospitalisation. This is of especial concern if professional care is needed to allow them to leave when ready to do so. 

This article explores the story of one lady and her family facing this situation. 

Lily had been ill for some time and had to be admitted to a Cheshire Hospital for a major operation. She would remain on a Ward for many weeks as she recovered.

Lily worried that she would not be able to return home after the operation. Living alone, although her family were not too far away, she loved seeing her daughter and grandchildren whenever possible. Bridge Club, Church and friends were also important aspects of her life. Lily wished to continue doing the things that made life fun once she had recovered.

Her daughter, Denise, shared her Mum’s concerns and hopes. Having Mum independent at home again became her top priority and she looked for solutions to achieve that aim. Talking with professionals at the hospital, she learned that live in care could be an option worth exploring for her Mum.

A quick phone call with a local live in care service established that they could provide care at home for Lily – and the process would only take a few days. This meant that Lily could come home as soon as the hospital was happy. The Care Team assessed Lily on the ward and liaised with the Occupational Therapist, ensuring all necessary equipment would be available for the discharge home.

The Company identified a lovely professional called Anna to become Lily’s carer and companion. Live in care allowed Lily to leave hospital, return home and “participate in her own life”. Anna encourages Lily to resume the things she did before her operation – preparing meals, going shopping, returning to clubs and Church. Naturally, the care plan developed encompasses all the personal care (showering, dressing, helping to the toilet etc.) that is needed, as Lily cannot manage this without Anna’s support.

For Denise, a busy working professional, live in care has brought peace of mind. Her Mum is at home – where she always wanted her to be. She knows that someone is always with her Mum. There is no nagging doubt whether Lily is ok, which means Denise can be at work (or with her husband and children) without worry. An added benefit is when visiting Mum, they can simply be daughter and grandchildren without thinking about care, as Anna manages all of that.

If you think live in care may help your Mum or Dad come home from hospital, then there are a few things to consider. A clean spare room and bed are needed, as this is where the carer will call home whilst looking after your loved one. Access to the bathroom (a shared room is fine) and kitchen is required. WiFi would be great. If there are any pets, the company will find carers who are good with animals.

If any adaptions to the house are required – such as a stairlift or outside ramp – then the Occupational Therapist can advise. It still may be possible to return home before these are sorted. Advice on home adaptions can be found on the Cheshire Later Life Hub site. For further reading and information the article “Coming out of hospital” will also help.

Lily is now living her best life at home with her live in carer. She and Denise recognise that this would not have been possible without the dedication and support of well trained, professional carers. Both Lily and Denise are really grateful that the hospital mentioned that live in care may work for them. For many people looking to remain at home after hospitalisation, it is an option worth exploring.