Finding the right care: Joyce’s story

Joyce (93) was living an independent life until on 19 April 2019, she fell at her home, and was admitted to hospital for her injuries. She suffered an acute kidney injury and was confused. She spent two weeks at a general hospital and was transferred to a specialist rehabilitation unit where she remained for a further seven weeks.

A super stranded patient is someone who has spent 21 days (three weeks) or more in hospital and in total Joyce spent nine weeks in hospital – two in an acute hospital and seven in rehabilitation – despite being medically fit for discharge for many weeks.

Denise, Joyce’s daughter, said: “No one should be left in hospital for longer than they need to be. It’s not right. I hope no one else has to go through what my mum and our family have had to endure.”

Denise said: “Like most people, my mum didn’t enjoy being in hospital or the rehab unit and naturally wanted to go home. She wouldn’t come out of her room and seemed to be getting depressed. I found it very upsetting.

“Unfortunately, going back home wasn’t really an option anymore, because she wouldn’t have the care she needs.”

Joyce’s family wanted her to move into a care home which had the facilities in place Joyce needed to ensure she could be looked after – a hoist and staff trained to be able to use the hoist safely. 

On 12 June CHS were first able to talk with Joyce and her family to understand the preferences that they had as to the type of care home she wanted to live in. CHS also talked with the trust staff to understand in detail the care Joyce would need before reaching out to care homes in the local area they knew would be able to meet all of these requirements in being able to provide the right environment and care for Joyce. 

Joyce’s discharge was delayed again when her social worker asked for additional evidence the care home was able to provide the right care for Joyce.  While the trust and social services considered the care home, Joyce became unwell, a common risk for people who spend a long time in hospital – further delaying her move into the care home. 

Once Joyce was well CHS organised for Joyce to visit her care home of choice.  On the day of the visit Joyce and her family decided it would be best for her to move to the care home.

Denise said: “On the Friday 21 June we made the decision and on Saturday 22 June mum was discharged from the rehab unit and moved into the care home.

Nine weeks after being admitted to hospital Joyce was able to move into her care home. 

Denise said: “I’m so grateful to Janet and Cath from CHS. Janet organised a trip for us to visit a residential care home, which is just five minutes from my house. She even booked the taxi for mum and me to get there, and Cath drove my husband to visit the home.

“Cath came with us and it was brilliant to have her there. She helped us ask questions and gave us advice from her experience.”

“Mum has been there for five weeks now and she loves it. They look after her really well and provide 24-hour care. As it’s so close it means we can visit her every day and it’s just great to know that she has the care she needs.

“She’s settled there nicely and much more relaxed.”

Some names have been changed.

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