Why there’s no place like home
Acute hospitals are very busy, unfamiliar environments, which can cause confusion and disorientation.
This can mean that patients often get less rest because, on many wards, our teams are in and out all through the night, caring for the very unwell. Our services are designed to treat the acute phase of illness or injury, rather than recovery and recuperation.
It's important to remember that most patients will continue to recover at home once they leave an acute hospital. This is medically safe, appropriate and necessary to improve long-term health and wellbeing outcomes for patients. In fact, many patients will need to leave hospital to be able to recover fully.
Staying in hospital for longer than necessary, has a negative impact on how well patients recover and can cause serious harm, impacting on a person’s health and wellbeing.
- Up to 60% of older patients experience functional decline after hospitalisation
- If you are over 80, 10 days of bed rest equals 10 years of muscle aging
- Hospital inactivity = accelerated bone loss, malnutrition, delirium, sensory deprivation, and incontinence
- Vulnerable adults can lose as much as 5% muscle strength per day to hospital acquired deconditioning
Ensuring that patients are given the chance to continue their lives at home is vital for their long-term wellbeing outcomes. We want to empower patients and their families with the confidence to continue their recovery in a familiar environment.
Sometimes, patients’ families can help us to get them home more quickly, by providing a little assistance to allow this to happen. You won’t be on your own because there’s a wide range of support available to you.
Deconditioning is a decline in function and for older people with frailty, this may start within hours of their lying on a trolley or bed.
Up to 65 per cent of older patients experience decline in function during hospitalisation.
Many of these patients could prematurely end up in a care home because of ‘deconditioning’ and the loss of functional abilities while in hospital.
Acute hospitals are very busy, unfamiliar environments, which can cause confusion and disorientation. Our services are designed to treat the acute phase of illness or injury, not for recovery and recuperation.
If you stay in bed for long periods, you lose mobility, fitness and muscle strength, which makes it harder for you to regain your independence. Getting up, dressed and moving helps maintain muscle strength and your ability to do things for yourself.
When you’re at home, just doing ordinary day-to-day activities helps to maintain muscle strength, even things like getting up to make a cup of tea. In contrast, when you’re in an unfamiliar environment like a clinical ward, you may be more likely to fall because you don’t have those familiar things around you to steady you if you lose your balance for a moment.
Good sleep is essential for a long and healthy life but it’s even more important when you're recovering from an injury or illness. Hospitals are busy places with lights, talking and noises from equipment, which can cause sleep deprivation. There’s no bed like your own bed when it comes to getting a good night’s rest.
Being in familiar surroundings with support from your loved ones is one of the best things for mental wellbeing. Hospitals are unfamiliar and can be very confusing which increases your risk of developing delirium (sudden confusion). When you are in hospital for a longer period, you may also lose confidence in your own ability to manage your day-to-day needs. With the right support, many people can return to living their life the way that they want to.
When you're unwell you're often less resistant to infections. We do everything we can to prevent you from developing an infection but the risk is usually lower at home where there are fewer unwell people under one roof.
Before you leave hospital
- Do you know where you are going (to home, to interim care, to a community hospital)
- Do you have your own transport?
- Do you have your medication and do you understand when to take it?
- Do you have the equipment you need to go home?
At the home
- Is the heating on?
- Are the lights on?
- Is there basic food in the fridge?
If you are unwell and need medical help, please call 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk
If you are not unwell, but you feel you are struggling to cope at home, please contact the Adult Social Care Helpdesk or in an emergency out of hours, call 01926 886922.
If you are unsure about your medication, please call 111 and ask for the Pharmacy Helpline.
- Leaving hospital when the time is right leaflet - Why it is important to start planning for you to leave hospital
- Moving or returning to another place of care leaflet - Why you are leaving hospital and what you might expect after you have left
- Returning home leaflet - Why you are leaving hospital and what you might expect after you have left
- Looking after family or friends after they leave hospital - Useful advice for family and friends of people needing ongoing care or support with day-to-day life
- Advice for carers
- Age UK Coventry and Warwickshire - phone: 02476 231999 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Age UK Coventry and Warwickshire - Hospital Social Prescribing in Warwickshire
- Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust Resources - If you need mental health support now, the freephone telephone number 08081 966798 can be called 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by both service users and carers.
- Health and wellbeing resources
- NHS Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull Talking Therapies Service - a free NHS service to help people with mild, moderate and moderate to severe symptoms of anxiety and low mood. Phone: 02476 671 090 or email: email@example.com
- Warwickshire & Solihull Community And Voluntary Action (CAVA) - Social Prescribing - Social prescribing involves taking time to identify with an individual what matters to them and then, in a person-centred way, connects someone to practical and emotional community support, which can empower and improve health and wellbeing.
- Warwickshire County Council's Adult Social Care Service - If you are not unwell, but you feel you are struggling to cope at home, please contact the service or in an emergency out of hours, call 01926 886922.
- Warwickshire County Council - Mental health and wellbeing
- Warwickshire County Council - help to live at home
- Wellbeing for Warwickshire