Help for elderly at home

A patient is taken home after leaving hospital thanks to the Home from Hospital service.
A patient is taken home after leaving hospital thanks to the Home from Hospital service.

A spell in hospital can leave an older person feeling anxious and vulnerable – but a new service in North Kirklees is set to provide reassurance and practical support.

NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commission Group (CCG) is funding the Home from Hospital service, a free transport and support service for elderly and vulnerable patients who don’t have support at home.

Community Transport Calderdale and Age UK Calderdale and Kirklees are also supporting the scheme.

Dr David Kelly, chairman of North Kirklees CCG, said: “After a stay in hospital, older people may feel they have lost a little of their confidence and independence and not everyone has family who can help them settle back into their home again.

“Home from Hospital is a wonderful service which is both supportive and seamless, and North Kirklees CCG is proud to be able to give our financial support. We believe it will make a difference to many elderly people in our area.”

The support begins with a wheelchair-accessible journey home from hospital after patients have been discharged. This is provided by Community Transport Calderdale, which aims to help people who cannot make their own way home due to ill health, isolation, disability, poverty or social exclusion.

Patients can then be met at home by Age UK Home from Hospital staff who help them to settle back into their own surroundings.

The specially-trained staff can talk through any needs and concerns people may have, aiming to rebuild confidence and help them regain independence. They can provide practical support by preparing light snacks and drinks and checking that the home is safe and warm.

Hilary Thompson, chief executive of Age UK Calderdale and Kirklees, said: “We are excited to be able to offer this support to people in North Kirklees as we have been providing a highly-regarded Home from Hospital Service in Calderdale for many years.

“Returning home after a stay in hospital can be frightening for people as they have often lost confidence and may have to adapt to a new way of doing things at home; our staff and volunteers can offer reassurance. We can assist people with many other services and access to information and advice to help them live well at home.”

The service can be booked on 0300 020 0213.