Alex Townsend (Integrated Clinical Lead for ICAT – Intermediate Care Allocation Team and IHSS – Intensive Home Support Service) went out to meet Mrs Slater and her daughter Jane to listen to what she had to say about her Home First experience.
Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Joan Slater, I have lived in Great Harwood all my life. I started work as a weaver at the age of 15 years old, and continued to work in various other job roles up to retiring at the age of 60. My husband Peter passed away 8 years ago, so I live on my own now. My daughter Jane and her husband Colin live close by, I also have four grandchildren and 2 greatgrandchildren. I see my brothers Malcolm and Derek and their wives on a regular basis as well as my cousin Lynn and my best friend Esther. They’ve all been great whilst I’ve been poorly. My main interests are going out shopping, I like reading and listening to Radio Lancashire.
What happened to make you poorly?
It was the beginning of January, I was out shopping in Clitheroe, I was buying my 1 year old great- granddaughter a new pair of shoes, and I fell in one of the shops. An ambulance was called and they took me to hospital. When they X-rayed me they said I’d fractured my right hip and that I needed a hip replacement – my hip was replaced the next day. Whilst in hospital I developed a pulmonary embolism and a water infection, which they treated, but for some reason I was also confused, my daughter says I was “out of it”. They moved me to Accrington Victoria for some rehabilitation, whilst there, the therapy team visited my house and rearranged my furniture and put some equipment in place. I also had an assessment on the ward with the Case Manager who organised reablement* to support me when I was discharged at the end of January. I was only home for a day though and got readmitted due to problems with my kidney. I was only in for 3 days on this occasion, and the day before I was due to come home the Case Manager spoke to myself and my daughter about Home First.
Explain more about the discussion you had about Home First prior to discharge.
Mrs Slater: Well, I can’t remember properly, so you’re best asking Jane about that.
Jane: The hospital rang me on Saturday afternoon and said my mum was ready to be discharged and they had an opportunity to bring my mum home on Sunday morning at 9 am. This was great for me because I was off work and it meant I could be present for the home assessment and I wouldn’t need to miss Church. They explained that mum would be brought home with two therapists and they’d look at what my mum could do and what she would need support with. In a nutshell, everything the case manager said would happen, happened.
What happened when you got home?
Jane: They arrived with my mum at her house bang on time and did the assessment. They rearranged the furniture back to how it was as this is what my mum preferred and they took her in every room in the house and asked her to do specific tasks. She even made her own cup of tea. We sat down and talked about what support options were available. Although my mum was very reluctant to accept any kind of home help support, she realised on her home first assessment that she did need support to cope, especially as I couldn’t support her with everything due to my own work commitments.
Mrs Slater: I don’t want to rely on other people.
Jane: We agreed that she should have one carer visit in the morning and I would support at lunch, tea and bedtime. The therapists took away equipment that my mum didn’t need and provided some new gadgets and equipment. It felt like nothing was too much trouble. The carers started the next day as promised and I remember mum was seen again 2 days later to see how she was getting on, and they recommended reablement to follow on.
How did Home First help you recover?
Getting home helps you recover, staying in hospital causes more problems, I went in with a broken hip and I developed a pulmonary embolism and a water infection as well as a kidney problem. The biggest help for my recovery was the reablement service provided by CRG. They were brilliant, they helped me with things like getting dressed in the morning and making my own breakfast. I had a review with my allocated Case Worker from Lancashire County Council’s reablement team and she could see that I was improving and that I had potential to be doing more for myself and put an extra visit in at tea time and this meant I could work towards cooking for myself so that my daughter didn’t have to do so much for me. I had reablement for 5 weeks altogether and I am now totally independent, I’ve even started going out again on my own, up to now, I’ve been to Accrington, Blackburn and Chorley. I’ll be honest, I didn’t want all this help, but I definitely think it helped me get back to normal quicker. I think I’m doing marvellous to say I’m not even 3 months post-op.
What would you say to someone who was unsure about accessing Home First?
I’d say go for it and don’t worry about it, everything seemed well managed, organised and we didn’t feel like anything was too much trouble. They left me with a leaflet with a phone number and they said I can ring whenever I wanted, especially if I was stuck with something.