The Hospital Care Crisis Continues

 

You can’t go anywhere without someone talking about the current situation with the NHS, or the general care industry. It is worrying for us all, not knowing whether we will be looked after if we have an accident or when we become unable to care for ourselves. Not to mention the pressure on families to look after their relatives and maintain a full-time job…

The demands and pressures on the NHS have been much documented and the continuing strikes demonstrate how unhappy medical staff are with the current working conditions. But the problem doesn’t just lie within the NHS, care homes cannot cope with current levels of demand and we, as a nation need more support to look after our loved ones. But how do we find a solution, I hear you cry?

Well, I can’t pretend I have a magic wand that can give more funding and staff to the NHS, magic up more care homes, and carers to run them or simply just make the old not so old… if only! However, I do think that perhaps I can help by raising awareness of the different kinds of support (financial and physical) out there to help you support your elderly friends and relatives.

Currently, the main challenge for the elderly is that if they have an accident or become unwell, they go into hospital and then may need additional support to carry on with their day-to-day life, which is delaying them from getting home. On average around 12,000 patients remain in hospital each week who are considered medically fit enough to leave but can’t because they are not fit enough to look after themselves how they did before. Many elderly are ending up stuck in hospitals due to a lack of suitable placements in care homes, or a lack of availability of home support. I’m sure if you have experienced a loved one going into hospital, you know you do everything you can to get them out again.

This is where we come in…

We know that everyone wants to remain as independent as they can for as long as they can, and sometimes a little extra help around the house is all that is needed to make this happen. For example, one of our lovely clients came to us because they fell and broke their hip. The hospital had repaired the damage, however extra help was going to be needed until they were back to full mobility. Trying to find a carer to come in and visit is so hard right now, especially with waiting lists at bursting point. This client was ok to get themselves up and out of bed, they got themselves dressed, it was just too difficult to make breakfast and carry it to the table to eat using a frame. We have been popping in every day to help make breakfast, and a cup of tea, make sure they take their medication and do a few chores that are a little harder without full mobility.

We can be that friendly face that pops by with the weekly shop, some meals for the week or just to have a chat and make a cup of tea. We can check everything is ok, because we know it’s not always possible for you to get there as much as you’d like to.

Financially, you may be worried this isn’t a viable option for you, however did you know that you could be entitled to Attendance Allowance? The Government pays £60-98 per week towards care costs for people who are suffering from an illness or have a disability. It is not means-tested and can be used however you want to make life easier for your loved one. For example, if you chose to use our services with this funding, we could pop in everyday Monday to Friday for an hour visit each time and it could cost as little as £36 a week!

There are a range of other financial support initiatives that could help you care for a loved one at home:

  • Carer’s allowance
  • Council Tax reduction
  • Pension Credit

If your loved one needs some help with personal care, this is not something we can help with, but we are always happy to help find a local care company that can help. With some clients we are working in partnership with care companies so that their carers can make shorter visits to fit them in, and we can step in to do all the non-personal care bits once they are done.

Right now, it is about thinking outside the box to get everyone the support they need to continue enjoying life. Whilst we are not able to solve the hospital-care crisis, we are doing what we can to get as many people out of hospital and back home as we can, so please spread the word!