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Coping at home ED

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  • You have been seen in the Emergency Department and considered to be medically fit for discharge back home. This leaflet outlines general advice and services to support you. If you have any concerns about how you will manage at home, please let a member of staff know and we will do our best to help you.
  • If your recovery is not going as expected at home, contact your GP or your council’s social services team and they can assess the situation.

You might want to consider care at home if:

  • You're finding it difficult to cope with daily routines, such as washing, dressing and getting out and about.
  • You don't want to move into a care home.
  • You can still get about your home and it's safe for you to live in – or it can be adapted to make it safe.
  • Have a look at the NHS Social Care and Support Guide for further information.

What if I fall and can’t get up?

Dial 999 and ambulance staff trained how to move patients will be pleased to help. Nobody should try and lift you without help.

Recovery at home

  • This leaflet outlines general advice and services to support your return home. It is usually better for your recovery to be at home and as active as possible.
  • After a long hospital stay you may become less able to manage in your own home. If you’re normally up and about, you may find it harder to move around because you’ve lost strength. Ten days in hospital leads to the equivalent of 10 years ageing in the muscles of people over 80. Hospital stays also expose you to the risk of infections which you may be ill-equipped to resist. That’s why we don’t want to keep you in hospital any longer than you need. However, if you have any concerns about how you will manage at home, please let us know.

Confusion and dementia

Many people become forgetful as they become older. This may be due to dementia but infections also cause sudden confusion and memory problems, particularly in older people. New surroundings can make things worse. An older person or someone with dementia may be less confused in familiar places and with their usual routines. This is why many people with dementia cope well in their own homes.

If you are concerned your memory is affecting your ability to cope please talk to your doctor.

Managing at home

It is important to us that you will be safe and able to manage at home. Although some people require no extra help, our discharge team can assess your needs.

If necessary there are services we may be able to access to support your return home including

  • Community therapy.
  • Falls prevention.
  • Community (district) nursing o Adult social services.
  • Voluntary services.

If these are identified as appropriate for your needs our staff can discuss these options further with you.

For your safety at home:

  • Make sure all your carpets are secure and remove loose rugs.
  • Ensure your lighting is adequate, with brighter bulbs on stairs.
  • Ensure furniture is arranged so that you can move around easily.
  • Make sure your phone is accessible and stay in contact with friends and family.
  • You may want to consider the benefit of a community alarm.

Support services

Some useful links are provided below, though websites are subject to change and your county council and GP may have more up to date information.

General advice

For general medical advice please use the NHS website, the NHS 111 service, walk-in-centres, or your GP.

  • The NHS website provides online health information and guidance.
  • NHS 111 phone line offers medical help and advice from trained advisers supported by nurses and paramedics. Available 24 hours a day. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.

This information is intended for patients receiving care in Brighton & Hove or Haywards Heath.

The information in this article is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.

Publication Date: August 2019

Review Date: January 2023

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