Help at home after hospital from the Royal Voluntary Service
What help is available to older people leaving hospital?
If your parent has been in hospital for a while, they may need help to get back into life at home.
When they’re ready to go home they should be connected to a number of healthcare and care professionals to get the right services in place. These include further medical and physiotherapy support as well as referrals to social services if appropriate. Occupational therapists should be available to assess your parent’s home to see whether adaptations such as ramps and rails would be of benefit. There should in theory also be consideration of whether your parent qualifies for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding.
An invaluable service is available from the Royal Voluntary Service.
The charity offers a 6-week support service to help those that come home from hospital with practical and emotional support. They can help your parent get back on their feet, regain their independence and reduce the chance of re-admission.
What does the RVS offer?
The RVS service, called Support Leaving Hospital or Home from Hospital, offers help to older people returning home after illness, surgery or an accident. If requested, volunteers can provide practical and emotional support to help clients get back on their feet, regain their independence and, importantly, reduce the chance of re-admission.
The volunteers will meet your parent in hospital and get to know them and their situation. They will visit your parent’s home before discharge from hospital to check that everything is ready for a safe arrival home, including heating, hot water and power.
On discharge day the volunteer can escort your parent home.
Once your parent is back home, the volunteer can then carry out the jobs that make recovery easier. This could be anything from cooking meals to walking the dog. They can also do shopping and collect prescriptions – invaluable in times when your parent may not be able to get out themselves.
Support Leaving Hospital volunteers help with the jobs that make recovery a little easier, from preparing a healthy meal to walking the dog, tidying the garden or collecting shopping or prescriptions. Volunteers will stay in touch for six weeks to help out as your parent recovers.
When the University of Oxford analysed the impact of the RVS Home from Hospital services in nine hospitals across Leicestershire, they found that the service not only reduced readmission rates (9.2% compared to a national figure of 15% for those aged 75 years and over), but it also helped to significantly improve clients’ health and wellbeing.
Can my parent access this service?
The RVS currently runs the service in many hospitals across the country, but not all. The RVS works in partnership with hospitals, so whether the service is available in your parent’s area is dependent on whether there is a partnership with their local hospital trust.
You can find out whether the RVS operates it services in your parent’s area by visiting the website.