Betty is 85; she was very happy living at home with help from her daughter. Her daughter has had to move away for work and this has left Betty feeling low. As a result, she has stopped eating and drinking as well as she used to and has lost weight. Betty has also been finding it a struggle to get of the house and has been spending more time at home in her chair watching TV. Betty had a fall at home when getting up from her chair and was unlucky to break a bone in her hip; this required a hospital stay. When Betty was discharged from hospital she was feeling very low, had lost confidence in her ability to move around the house and needed help with most daily tasks.
In Betty’s situation, our team may have received a referral from the hospital to advise us that she was being discharged and might need our help at home. If Betty agrees to support from our team, we will undertake an assessment, either over the phone or in person to find out Betty’s history, what is a challenge for her and what she would like to be able to do or improve upon. After this assessment, we may visit and look at her home and make recommendations for how we can make things as safe as possible for her, with equipment or adaptations or helping to practise and get confidence back doing the things she used to do. We can provide exercises to help build back the movement in her hip and to strengthen up the rest of her important muscles. We could also refer to social services if long-term support might be required, to help with cleaning or cooking meals. We can talk to Betty and to her daughter to agree the best way forward. We may work with Betty over several weeks to ensure that she has regained as much strength and mobility as possible to bring her back to her normal levels of daily functioning. This means that she will be in the best position possible to continue with her life.