29 August 2017

Jennifer is an 84-year old widow who lives alone in her own home. Jennifer has mobility issues but still managed to retain her independence with support from her friends. Unfortunately, Jennifer had a fall at home and was admitted to hospital with a limb fracture which required complex surgery. She was extremely worried and felt that she might not be able to return home and would have to move into a care home. Jennifer decided to sought help from Age UK Notts through a friend.

Age UK Notts’ Housing Options Adviser visited Jennifer on the ward and encouraged her to share her concerns with the medical staff which she had not previously done. Jennifer was reassured about the process for any admission to care so that she understood that supporting her to return home to live safely and independently was the main goal for the medical staff. Jennifer was also provided with information on the range of potential assistance including aids and adaptations on her home.

With Jennifer’s consent Age UK Notts’ Housing Options Adviser advocated for a period of re-enablement in a local facility for her which progressed her towards discharge and allayed her fears regarding care admission.

On the following day, Jennifer was discharged and transferred to the re-enablement facility. Additionally, to prepare for her return, Age UK Notts’ Silverlinks volunteer provided hands on support in Jennifer’s home including organising for her flooring to be re-glued to prevent trips, assisting with a short-term relocation of her bedroom and rearranging some items in her kitchen to minimise her need to bend.

“I benefitted very much from the input. I would have been discharged far too early from the hospital after the operation. Looking back, I wasn’t in any state to come home and feared falling again. I wouldn’t have been able to wash or dress myself or do anything. The time in Clifton View helped me prepare properly for coming home. Thank you so much,” said Jennifer.

In summary, the organisation of short term re-enablement has allowed Jennifer to be discharged from mainstream hospital without delay.  It has meant that she is in a more appropriate setting to convalesce as well as to grow in confidence as she regains mobility.  Without this measure, there is a higher likelihood of an extended hospital stay or readmission. Measures were also put in place at Jennifer’s home to support her return as well as liaising with the re-enablement facility to alert them to other issues requiring attention ahead of Jennifer returning home.

If you or your loved ones require Age UK Notts' help, please contact us on 0115 844 0011 for further advice.

* Due to confidentiality reasons, the name and/or image of the subject has been changed.