Peter and his wife, Jean, have been married for over 50 years. Jean is 78, and Peter is 74; both are retired. Earlier this year, Jean had a major stroke and was admitted to hospital. The stroke left her paralysed on one side and with dysphasia, a condition that affects your ability to produce and understand spoken language. Before Jean's illness, both had reasonable health and active lives together.
While Jean was in hospital, Peter saw a poster promoting the local n-compass Carers’ Hub and realising that he would be Jean's carer when she came out, he contacted the Carers’ Hub to seek advice and support. The Carers’ Hub helped him think about what support Jean might need and also what support he might need as a carer. Caring for someone can be stressful, tiring and lonely; it's important that carers think about their own health and well-being as well as that of the person they care for.
The Carers’ Hub also provided a hospital discharge project that supports and facilitates the transition of patients from hospital to home, focusing on the needs of the unpaid carer. Providing information about the discharge process to the carer: well-being assessments/risk assessments, opportunities for the carer and cared for to ask questions/inform decision-making, co-ordinating with social care and community resources and follow up, the carer's support worker will help ensure that the discharge happens as quickly and smoothly as possible. Being well-connected with hospital staff, social care staff and community resources, the hospital discharge project ensures collaboration between healthcare professionals, patients/their caregivers, social care and community support services, ensuring that the discharge is sustainable and that the patient's stay is not unnecessarily extended and hospital readmission is avoided.
Following Jean's discharge, Peter said, "I'm so grateful for their support. Firstly, it was someone to talk to who understood what I was going through. We don't have any family nearby, so I was on my own, trying to make sense of everything and work out what to do next. The Carer's Hub continued to support me after Jean left hospital, calling me, checking how I was and giving me space to chat with someone. I appreciated this support; when Jean went into residential care, I was totally alone.”