Preventing Hospitalisation with Home Care: A Comprehensive Guide

Preventing hospitalisation through effective home care has become a critical focus at Home Instead.

As the population ages, hospitals face increasing pressure from the rising admission rates with insufficient beds to support them. Preventing hospitalisation through effective home care has become a critical focus at Home Instead. Home care is proven to significantly reduce the number of patients being admitted to hospital, easing the burden on the NHS.

An article from February this year stated that 95% of hospital beds were full which is 10% above the recommended ‘safe’ level. 12,017 beds would be required to bring the bed levels down to ‘safe’ occupancy which is 85% full.

The Importance of Preventing Hospitalisation

Being admitted to hospital can involve exposure to infections, a disruption of daily routines and emotional and financial strain to patients and their families. By preventing unnecessary hospital visits, patients can enjoy a higher quality of life and maintain independence, in their own homes.

A study found that a visit to the emergency department was associated with a more than threefold increased risk of acute respiratory or gastrointestinal infection.

Creating an Effective Home Care Strategy

  1. Writing a Comprehensive Care Plan

A Care Plan is a document which is created by our Home Care Consultants after a needs assessment has been carried out. Our Home Care Consultants write up a care plan which details the type of support needed to meet the care needs of the person in question. The key components of a Care Plan include medication management, personal care requirements, your personal preferences and priorities and any equipment that is needed.

Our Home Care Consultants at Home Instead Exeter and East Devon conduct a 24-hour review of the Care Plan after the client’s first visit, a two-week review after that and then every 3 months as standard. The Care Plan gets updated every time there’s a significant change in the client’s circumstances to ensure they always receive the best possible care.

  1. Skilled Home Health Services

At Home Instead, we are constantly developing our home health care services to support the growing need for keeping people out of hospital. These services include PEG feeding, catheter care, monitoring vital signs and our new nail care services for the elderly, among others.

Access to these services in the home reduces the number of GP appointments needed and allows our Care Professionals to spot signs of ill health in a client before they deteriorate and need to go into hospital.

  1. Lifestyle Modifications and Preventative Care

We encourage our clients to be as independent as possible in the home and will encourage the use of home help methods to support this. Raised toilet seats and grab rails can help a client get on and off the toilet by themselves if they find they are losing their mobility.

Light exercise such as a walk by the seafront with their Care Professional or some seated exercises in the home is encouraged alongside a balanced diet, tailored to the client’s needs.

Case Study

Recently we had a new client who was supported by our Care Professional and Live-in Care Team Leader, Ruth, who was struggling with her weight and was very malnourished. The client, Judith, who resides in Ottery St Mary in East Devon, was refusing to eat much more than a biscuit at mealtimes and it was clear that if she kept going on like this, she would become very unwell and could end up in hospital.

Ruth began taking her lunch in with her to visits and sitting at the table with the client to eat. This encouraged Judith to eat alongside Ruth and she was able to finish her entire meal for the first time in weeks. The Care Plan was then updated to support this new mealtime plan and since then, she has been in much higher spirits with more energy and looks and feels a lot healthier.

Home Care and the Healthcare System

Preventing hospitalisation through effective home care is not only beneficial for the patients but also for the broader healthcare system. By focusing on comprehensive care planning, skilled home health services, lifestyle modifications and preventive care, our clients can enjoy a better quality of life, within the walls they love. These strategies help create a sustainable healthcare model and reduces the strain on the NHS.

Introducing home care today, even if it’s only for one hour a week, can ensure that if a decline in health does happen, you have the support around you straight away, to keep you safe and healthy. This paves the way for a more independent future for patients and their families.

Call our friendly team on 01395 200600 and discover how we can support you to stay healthy at home.