How Home from Hospital can make a difference
None of us likes the idea of spending time in hospital but for people who live alone or who have limited support, coming home from the hospital can be just as difficult. Patients who struggle to cope and can become lonely. They might not eat well due to stress and even suffer an accident, which could result in them being readmitted to hospital.
Home from Hospital volunteering allows you to get to know a patient while they are still in hospital so that you can gain a thorough understanding of their needs.
You may visit their home before they are discharged from hospital to check that everything is fit for a safe arrival home. This could include:
- Looking for any health and safety hazards
- Turning on the power, heating and hot water
- Stocking up on groceries
- Preparing a simple meal when they arrive home.
Once you’ve got to know them, you’ll take them home and help them to settle in, staying in touch regularly for a number of weeks.
Popping round for a regular visit and a cup of tea will help provide encouragement as they get better. Depending on the patient's individual support plan as a volunteer you will provide practical and emotional support to help make their recovery a little easier, including:
- Going with them to the shops
- Collecting prescriptions
- Taking them to hospital/doctor’s appointments
- Posting letters
- Going for a walk or getting on a bus
- Discussing healthy meal options
- Encouraging them to drink fluids
- Supporting patients as a bilingual or multilingual volunteer and speaking to them in their own language
- Or anything else that helps them lead a fulfilling, independent life
Sharing even a few hours a week could make a big difference.
University of Oxford research found that our Home from Hospital service not only reduces readmission rates but also helps to significantly improve patients’ health and wellbeing.
Find out more about what you can expect