Soon after I set up the Hospital to Home service at Relative Matters, I received a call from my friend Jan. She was in quite a state because she had been told that her mother, who had a stroke a few weeks before, was ready for discharge from hospital and needed to find a care home. While needing a lot of support, her mother did not meet eligibility criteria for CHC funding, or funding from Social Services, as she had savings that put her above the financial threshold. Jan had been given a list of care and nursing homes and asked to arrange her mother’s move as soon as possible as the hospital needed her bed. People who do not qualify for funding from Social Services do not usually receive support from a social worker.
Jan’s mother is a widow and felt strongly that she did not want to live in a care home. I told Jan this was not the time to make a rushed life changing decision and advised that her mother was entitled to 6 weeks intermediate care free of charge, regardless of her means, so we could find a suitable care home for her to convalesce for a few weeks, while we planned her long term care.
I worked with the Hospital Discharge Team and manager of the home to design a care plan that had a rehab element built into it and Jan’s mother moved to the care home a few days latter. The care home was great and played a positive part in building her confidence.
While her mother was in the care home we began recruiting a small team of personal carers. After her mother had been in the home for 4 weeks, and in consultation with Jan and her mother, I arranged an OT and care agency assessments so agency carers could continue with an updated care plan at home, while waiting for the personal assistants to start. (Recruitment of a personal assistant can take around12 weeks, including reference and CRB checks)
Today a small team of 3 part time carers look after Jan’s mother and she is living happily at home. The carers work less, and therefore cost less, because Jan covers some care at weekends and we use the following pieces of equipment.
- A community alarm and personal response service
- A fall detector
- A bed and chair sensor
- A computer for shopping etc.
We also arranged for her mother to attend a local Stroke Club where she has made new friends.
As well as respecting her mother’s choice to live in her own home and giving her the best quality of life possible, I saved money by finding the right placement (home support as opposed to living in a care home), maximising her income by applying for higher rate Attendance Allowance , using equipment to improve independence and her mother’s existing support network.