Are you in hospital, ready to go home, but need care and support while you convalesce? Live-in care means that you can return to your own home, rather than staying in hospital, or being sent to a residential or convalescent home.
You will be cared for in familiar surroundings, with your family, friends and neighbours, getting better care than in any care home. And when you are better, you dismiss the carer, and get on with your life.
We know that few people actually like staying in hospital, most people want to get home, where they will get the food they want and like, won’t have to sleep in a narrow, uncomfortable bed, won’t have to be woken up when they don’t want to wake up, and so on.
Over the 30 years of Christies Care’s existence, we have become very experienced at helping find carers so people can convalesce at home, and can be discharged from hospital.
We have had many successes, where we have seen clients get better far faster than ever predicted, simply because they are getting the care they want, in the place they want.
How do we make it a success?
The answer varies on every case, but it comes down to planning, organisation and adaptability.
Sometimes things are straightforward. Take the case of Mr Smethwick, a client of ours who had had a planned hip replacement. He was discharged when planned, was picked up from the hospital by his son, who took him home, and then the carer arrived.
Mr Smethwick is getting better fast, already he has nearly got to the stage of being able to get rid of his carer, though he is talking about “booking him in for the next operation on the other hip”!
Sometimes the scenario is more complicated.
For example, we have a client who we were just about to start with, next week. Then, before we could start, she slipped and broke her pelvis. So now she was in hospital. Instead of being a fairly independent woman, she now needed a hoist to be transferred, a wheelchair and a hospital bed.
We made sure that the equipment was delivered before the discharge date and arranged for the carer to come a day before discharge, to organise the equipment, air the house, buy some flowers, fill the fridge, and to go into hospital and introduce herself to the client.
The carer was then able to go to hospital on the discharge date, to accompany her home in the ambulance.
We rang the client and carer after the first day, to check that everything was fine, and it was, they were getting on well.
Then on day three, our local area advisor went to visit, to check, face-to-face with our client that everything was going fine, and to reassess her wants and needs, now she was home.
The client has a great deal of physiotherapy to do, to make sure that she recovers as fully as possible. Our carers are trained to work closely with physiotherapists and to encourage their clients to do the exercises they need, in order to get better.
“My mum’s a very independent person, but she’s got some long term chronic health problems and things have been getting really tough over the winter. She’s been in and out of hospital a few times – I’ve been helping care for her and she’s had a local care agency popping in, but sometimes she’s got ill during the night and hasn’t wanted to bother anyone and that’s led to her heading back into hospital. It was all getting too much for her and the family.
“I contacted Christies Care on a Friday afternoon and got things in motion. I had a helpful visit from their local advisor on the Wednesday and care was in place, ready for my mum to be discharged from hospital the very next day. My mum really wanted to be at home and it was clear to everyone that she needed 24 hour help. Even if she didn’t actually use the carer at night, having someone in the house, just in case, has been a real confidence booster. Mum was desperate to go home, but terrified that she’d be sent back to hospital again. Thankfully that hasn’t happened; my mum and her first carer got on straightaway, like a house on fire and that carer has stayed with her ever since.
“Now, 8 weeks later, my mum feels she’s got strong enough and confident enough not to need 24 hour care, though she’s sad to say goodbye to her carer Elaine. Elaine has been wonderful. I can’t rate her highly enough and everyone I’ve come into contact with at Christies Care have been friendly and helpful – they’re a lovely bunch of people.
And we know that if my mum has further problems, we can call Christies Care and get care started again for the very next day.”
by Earl Harrison, her son