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Hospital admissions can be planned or they can be emergencies. This area of the website aims to help with some of the uncertainties and anxieties you might face before, during and after your hospital stay. It suggests ways you can plan ahead for when you return home. It also includes information on what to expect from professionals working in the hospital and in the community.
If you know you are going into hospital there are a few practical things you may need to do.
- Let people know, for example, family, friends and neighbours
- If you receive care or support services, such as home care, you will need to let the company know
- Secure your home
- Cancel newspapers
- Make sure your pet is looked after.
If you are claiming benefits, notify the Department for Work and Pensions and the district or borough council office that deals with your claims, as your new circumstances may affect your benefit entitlement. You will need to contact them again when you come home to have your benefit reassessed. You may also be entitled to other benefits if you have become disabled as a result of your illness.
If you are getting social care support from West Sussex County Council, contact Adults' CarePoint to let them know, so that your services can be stopped. To get social care support after a hospital stay, you can either contact Adults' CarePoint before you go into hospital or ask to see a social worker during your stay in hospital. If you are a carer, you can also contact Adults' CarePoint for advice.
Phone: 01243 642121
Opening hours: 9.00am-5.00pm, Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays)
If you have a pet that will need to be looked after while you are in hospital, your vet or local pet shop may be able to suggest a good cattery or kennel. Alternatively, organisations such as National Petsitters and NARPSUK can provide information about pet sitters in your area.
You should be involved in developing a discharge plan. The plan will tell you what you can expect to happen after you leave hospital. It will provide information about who to contact to get the health services that have been agreed for you, a clear explanation of your condition and likely treatment and advice about the help you can get at home for daily living tasks once you leave hospital. You should be involved in any decisions about your long-term care arrangements. If you have a carer, they will also be involved in developing the plan.
Staff will do their best to help you to continue to live independently, but you may need to go into a care home when you leave hospital. This could be temporary to give you time to recover more fully or to get services started for you at home. In some cases it might be permanent. Social workers can help to arrange this or offer advice if you are able to make your own arrangements. If you are being discharged to a care home, the care home should be told the date and time of your discharge and have a copy of the discharge plan.
Take home and settle
Age UK West Sussex, Brighton and Hove in partnership with Guild Care provide the Take Home and Settle service for older people who live alone with limited support and family and friend carers who may or may not live with their cared for.
The support can include:
- A safe journey home
- Unpack your hospital bag
- Check food in fridge is still in date
- Do a small light local shop
- Check your care line is working
- Signpost or refer you to other support services including our support at home after hospital
- Leaving you feeling safer and comfortable
This service is free of charge. For more information, call 01903 717130.
Support at Home after Hospital
Age UK West Sussex, Brighton and Hove in partnership with Guild Care and Carers Support West Sussex provide a Support at Home after Hospital service for older people who live alone and family and friend carers living in West Sussex to help recovery after a hospital stay.
This service is for:
- People aged 65+
- Older people living alone
- Family or friend carers aged 18+ who have been in hospital themselves
- Family or friend carers aged 18+ who are caring for someone who has just come out of hospital
- If you are due to be discharged or you have just returned from hospital
Support at Home after Hospital will provide a volunteer to visit you in your home for up to six weeks to support you while you regain your confidence and independence. Some of the ways the volunteer could help you with include:
- Visiting you for a chat
- Carrying out small practical tasks in and outside the home
- Helping you get your prescriptions and shopping
- Supporting you to attend your hospital or doctor's appointments
- Helping you with your caring role, for example, staying with the person you care for while you go out
- Providing information on other services and liaising on your behalf
- Helping with finances, paper work and benefits entitlements.
There is no charge for this service.
Please note the service is unable to provide assistance with personal care, wound dressing, lifting, counselling, and administering medication. You can, however, be supported to find the assistance you require. Although emergency shopping cannot be provided, the service can pick up essential items while supporting you to find a shopping service that meets your needs.
How to contact Support at Home after Hospital
To arrange this service, please contact Age UK West Sussex, Brighton and Hove or you can ask a hospital ward nurse, social worker, GP, friend or relative to contact them on your behalf.
Age UK West Sussex, Brighton and Hove
Suite 2, First Floor, Anchor Springs
Littlehampton, BN17 6BP
Phone: 01903 717130
If you or a relative may need long-term care after leaving hospital, the Carewise care funding advice scheme can offer independent financial advice on paying for care.