Helping patients get back on their feet

Posted on Wed, 08/01/2020 by Amyleigh Jones, Service Coordinator, Gateshead Home from Hospital, British Red Cross

British Red Cross and patient

Amyleigh Jones is the service coordinator for the British Red Cross' Home from Hospital service in Gateshead.The British Red Cross provides short-term support, by getting people home and helping them to get back on their feet after a stay in hospital.

The service helps them towards living independently again, helping people to reconnect with the world around them and to feel confident and capable again, which is as important to their mental wellbeing as it is to their physical health. Amyleigh explains:

"On our first meeting, we chat. We chat about the world, life and everything in between, some people are a little more reserved and prefer to listen and others love to chat. This is where I learn the most about them. We talk about their family, their hobbies, what is important to them? Did they work?

"It is this that helps us learn them what they like to do. How can I help them live a fulfilled life after their hospital stay. Finding out what makes them tick and what they enjoy enables me to tailor our approach and provide them with signposting information or referrals to places they are most likely to enjoy.

"Sometimes our services users have been in hospital for a day or several weeks even months, which because they have been away from home for so long they have no food or drink, our service will support the service user to go out and buy some groceries, along with assistance with putting it away.

"It is sometimes easy to forget that some people don’t have anyone and the only way they can go home is knowing the British Red Cross will be there to support them for up to 6 weeks while they get back onto their feet.

"Getting your confidence and independence back is a gradual and hard-won process. And, even when you start to feel you’re getting back on top of things, that independence can be fragile.

"As part of the support at home team, I will visit the person I am supporting for up to six weeks, my role is to help get them back to feeling themselves and to manage independently again, sometimes our service users are not quite ready to be fully independent and I would have referred to further services to ensure the service user has the right support for when Home from Hospital service comes to an end."

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