When older people come out of hospital, they can need more intensive support than usual to help get them back on their feet. Royal Voluntary Service Home from Hospital services provides daily visits by volunteers for a period of up to six weeks, depending on the area they live in and what’s needed.
They can help with anything from making sure they have a healthy meal, walking the dog, helping with the garden or collecting shopping or prescriptions. They can provide a vital link between the older person and the outside world at a time when they are still recovering from an accident or illness.
Securing people back into their home and into their community is a crucial part of what the Royal Voluntary Service does. To that end we have introduced a befriending service that begins even before the older person has left hospital. By making contact at this early stage the volunteer gains an understanding of the needs of the older person while in turn, the older person learns to trust the volunteer.
Our volunteer will also check that everything is okay at home (that the heating works, for example) before the end of hospital stay. And when the day comes to leave hospital our volunteer will be there to escort the older person home.
Over the years of offering these services we have found that it encourages people to come out of hospital sooner, in the knowledge that they have personal and practical help available and reduces the chance that an older person will end up back in hospital.
Visits to hospital and the GP surgery can be stressful so the help and support of a Royal Voluntary Service volunteer often proves invaluable. Our volunteers accompany older people, arrange care for pets and are there in the first few weeks following a hospital visits.
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