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Going home after a hospital stay

An extended hospital stay for a parent can be a worrying time - and  it's natural to want to get them out as soon as possible. But it’s vital to make sure they'll be safe once they get home. No one wants to end up back in hospital after an accident at home.

So make sure the hospital has arranged an assessment of your parents’ needs - and that a care plan is in place.  This could include visits from district nurses, carers or physiotherapists, or even the installation of equipment like grab rails or a raised loo.

The Right Post-Hospital Care

TEMPORARY CARE. This might also be called intermediary or enablement care. The aim of this is to make sure your parent is safe and as independent as possible. It lasts for up to six weeks - and is free. Most people only get two weeks of short term care. Don’t be afraid to argue for more time.

CONTINUING CARE. This is where it’s thought that your parent might need longer term care. This continuing care is not free and your parent may need to make a contribution depending on their means. They may even end up having to pay for all the longer term care they receive.  So it’s important for you to get the authorities to spell out clearly whether the post-hospital care they are recommending is short term or long term. 

KEEP A COOL HEAD

There could be a lot of information to digest at this critical time.  Your parent may be eager to go home and the hospital could be keen to free up a bed.  But make sure you and your family  are happy with the care being offered - and that you’re clear about whether its long term or short term and whether you will have to pay. Don't be shy about asking authorities to repeat information. It's their duty to be clear.