Age UK Report
Age UK recently released a report stating that many patients are trapped in their hospital beds because they have nowhere to go to and are unable to access adequate care at home, due to a shortage of care services.
Elderly people are “trapped” in English hospitals in ever greater numbers as there is nowhere else for them to go, the charity Age UK has warned. Its analysis shows patients spent a total of nearly 2.5 million days stuck in a hospital over the past five years. Age UK said it was bad for patients’ health, a waste of NHS resources and a huge cost to taxpayers. NHS England said extra funds allocated to councils would help give care and support to patients leaving hospital.
What would you do?
Imagine the scenario. Your mother suffers from dementia. She recently fell in her home, hurt her leg and is now in hospital.
You live 50 miles away, have a family and work full time. You have taken time off work to be with her at the hospital. She has been living alone with regular daily care to help her get ready in the morning and get her to bed. That routine was working well but now the injury has caused additional complications. The hospital desperately needs her bed. They have another five patients lined up and require her to be discharged but the necessary care is not in place for her to come home.
What do you do? Does she go back to her own home? If she goes home will she receive the care that she needs, not just for her dementia but also for her leg injury? Does your mum come home and live with you? If she comes with you she will be in unfamiliar territory and you will have to go back to work otherwise you won’t get paid. It’s a tricky situation and one which we come across time and time again.
There is a real shortage of care homes willing to take people with advanced dementia who require specialist care and high level of support – where do people go if homes calling themselves ‘specialist dementia homes’ say NO and they are unable to take people with challenging behaviour?
At Clarity Care Consulting, we have been contacted by families distressed at seeing loved ones in hospital who are not receiving the care they should be and are unable to come home. We have witnessed delays when patients have received physiotherapy and support in hospital and are then told that nothing more can be done. Due to a lack of community services, the patient can’t be discharged and they have ended up losing some of the life skills that they need for a safe and secure home life.
Age UK says there is a crisis in social care ranging from a shortage of care home places to a lack of district nurses to help people in their own home. It says the situation has got worse and the number of people being kept in hospital in 2014-15 increased by 19% on the previous year.
Caroline Abrahams, from Age UK, said: “These figures show that year-on-year, older people are being trapped in hospital in ever greater numbers because of a delayed assessment, care home place, home care package or home adaptation.
“Without decent social care when discharged, whether to their own home or to a care home, hospital stays are often much longer than they need to be and older people are more likely to be readmitted because their recovery stalls.”
Don’t leave it – let us help you with this situation
We can provide the support that you need as a relative and we can work with the care services to ensure that your mother or father receives the care they need to be able to live at home. If it looks like they will need a care or nursing home instead, then we can help with this too.
Please call us. We can give you advice and help to ensure that your relative is not trapped in a hospital bed. We have dealt with this situation many times before and have been able to successfully help relatives find the care that is needed for their loved ones.
Our telephone number is: 0845 2692382.