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elderly, convalescence, rehabilitation, respite care, uk

 


Convalescence, Rehabilitation and Respite Care

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See Also: Care Options / Care at Home / Role of the Independent Care Adviser / Assistive Devices / Convalescence, Rehabilitation and Respite Care

Information on Convalescence, Rehabilitation and Respite Care is detailed below. Please note that every individual¡¦s situation is unique. For advice tailored to your specific needs it is suggested you speak to an Independent Care Adviser.

Convalescence

The term "Convalescent" is defined as a person recovering from illness. In a climate of long hospital waiting lists and delayed hospital discharges, hospital stays for many people are frequently so short that the recovery period has barely started before they return home. Obviously, an acute hospital is not the ideal environment to recover from an operation or illness, but the harsh reality of returning home can be a very difficult time, particularly for the older person.

Whilst most acute hospitals now have rehabilitation programmes, called Intermediate Care or Re-Enablement, limited resources means that some people will not meet the strict eligibility criteria for these and therefore will not qualify. Clearly, there is a difference between the older person in need of active rehabilitation and the older person who simply needs a little support whilst regaining his or her strength. Sadly, this is an area of care that is not adequately addressed in our current Health and Social Care system.


The main sources of support for the older person in these circumstances are likely to be:

  • Family member in the older person's home
  • A short stay at a family member's home
  • Visiting support from family, neighbours and friends
  • Employment of carer/companion through a Care Agency
  • Convalescent stay in a Care Home
  • Local voluntary organizations

Convalescent Homes are few and far between and the older person may struggle to find a short-term vacancy in a Care Home of their choice at the time when support is required. However, there are a number of Convalescent Homes, Care Homes and Care Homes with Nursing associated with particular professions or charities that are more likely to be sympathetic to the particular needs of their members. This level of short-term care is not generally funded by either the NHS or the Local Authority.

Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation is about restoring an individual to fullest capacity; physically, mentally and socially. It requires a team of people working together with the individual and his or her family. This team may include Nurses, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Speech Therapists. Their combined expertise should promote recovery and maximise independence.

Depending on the nature of the older person¡¦s condition, within the NHS they may be offered "Intermediate Care"or "Re Enablement" on discharge from hospital. This is a short rehabilitation programme usually lasting for no more than six weeks. Hospital staff will decide whether the individual is suitable for a programme such as this. It will usually involve members of a multi-disciplinary team (MDT), such as an Occupational Therapist and /or a Physiotherapist, planning or supervising appropriate care, most commonly in the older person's home, a Community Hospital or a Care Home. If, at the end of this six-week period the older person is assessed as requiring ongoing care, they may be referred to Social Services, depending on their own wishes and financial status. However, care from this point will be subject to a Local Authority means test.


If the older person's condition requires specific ongoing therapeutic treatment, such as, speech therapy or physiotherapy, for example, following a stroke, this may continue on an outpatient basis for longer periods.
This level of care is generally free of charge to the older person.

Respite Care

Respite Care is defined as "temporary relief". It may be provided for the older person or their carer and may take the following forms:

  • A short break away for the older person (holiday).
  • Increased support in the home to allow the carer to pursue their own interests.
  • A short stay for the older person in a Care Home to enable the carer to take a longer break.

It may be for as little as an hour per week, or for a day, a week or two depending upon individual circumstances.

There are a number of organisations that offer help and support in this way, e.g. care agencies, charitable and voluntary organisations.

If the older person has funds in excess of £23,250 in England and Northern Ireland, £24,000 in Wales and £26,250 in Scotland, they will not be entitled to assistance with funding from the Local Authority for this care.

Carers can also ask for an assessment of their own needs and are advised to contact their local Adult Social Services Department to request this.

The relevant local authority can be found via https://www.gov.uk/find-your-local-council

 
If you require further assistance or would like to speak to the Independent Care Adviser this site recommends please call 0800 137 669 or complete the e-mail enquiry form.

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