I love working in the community – my early career was spent looking after people at home and my belief is that is where people should be unless they are really sick. It’s always been a bit of a dilemma – Are people better off as patients on a hospital ward or as individuals in their own home? Can they really be looked after as well at home? What about infections? How will they manage?
The answer is yes, not for everything, of course there are patients that need to be in hospital but we can certainly support people to recover at home, readjust back to their own homes, kitchens and sitting rooms with confidence where they can eat their own food and manage their own lives, and above all sleep in their own beds.
Older people, in particular, decondition so quickly in hospital – they lose muscle mass and confidence; they pick up hospital bugs and end up staying for ages.
Caring for people at home is a privilege, watching them become more confident and independent, often makes what may seem like a daunting experience a relatively easy and uncomplicated one.
When patients are medically fit, HomeLink Healthcare works with patients and their families and carers to ensure their return home is as smooth as possible, assessing them in hospital, meeting them at home, finding out what they need, visiting them more often at first, providing nursing care and physiotherapy to make sure they are safe. We will even go shopping with them, if that their goal to ensure they have the confidence to pick up their lives as best they can.
HomeLink Healthcare works closely with the hospital too so if there are any problems patients will have access to the support they need and if necessary, can return to be reviewed, it’s like a ward, except the patient is at home. We also work with GP’s to keep some patients at home instead of going to hospital in the first place.
One of our patients recently commented ‘HomeLink is a fantastic service which delivers very high standards of care and the only disadvantage is that I have now been transferred over and feel that the quality of care is not as good “Not a patch on HomeLink’.
Jane Tobin,Head of Clinical Development at Homelink Healthcare
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