If you or a relative has a fall serious enough to be taken to A&E it can be extremely stressful. If you know how to navigate the system it can make your life a lot easier and get you back home as fast as possible.
Hospital staff should provide you with information about the discharge process. This will include an expected date of discharge (EDD) to be reviewed on a regular basis. Until you are fit and safe to be discharged and any care package or equipment that is needed to make you safe at home is put in place you will not be discharged.
Hospital staff will produce a discharge plan and give a copy to you. This will also be forwarded to your GP and care home if you are being discharged to one. You may be assigned a discharge coordinator to help if your case is complex. The plan will contain information about your condition, medicines and useful contacts. It will also include arrangements for continuing care support and equipment such as grab rails or personal alarms.
This is for people with complex health needs and allows free social care paid for by the NHS. These applications can be fast tracked if you are terminally ill. Being assessed for Continuing Healthcare can be a complex process, Beacon gives free, independent advice about this topic.
You have the right to an assessment of your care needs by the local authority. The care needs found in this assessment may be paid for by you or by the council depending on the situation. You can also self assess the care you or a person you care for needs.
This is means tested. It depends on the local authority so do get in contact with them in any case. Generally, if you have savings or assets larger than the amounts below you will have to pay in full for your own care.
England - £23,250
Wales - £24,000 (care at home) or £50,000 (care in a care home)
Northern Ireland - £23,250
If there is a carer involved they are entitled to a carers assessment. This can help them with support, advice, help with respite care, gardening, housework and even taxi fares if they do not drive.
Reablement is short term support which can be free for up to six weeks. This helps you get out of hospital as early as possible, maximise your recovery and prevents you moving into a care home or going back into hospital. This sort of support could be from care staff, nurses, OTs, physios, social workers or even doctors.
There are many helpful pieces of equipment that can help you stay independent at home. This could be anything from grab rails to personal alarms. Make sure you explore the different options available. The council will have a limited selection and you could improve things with some very small changes.
Learn about how to choose a personal alarm using our Guide to Choosing a Personal Alarm