An AgeUK Milton Keynes service is helping to ease the hospital beds crisis.
The charity’s Hospital Aftercare Service is playing a vital role in helping reduce the number of unnecessary stays in hospital for older people.
From October until December, Age UK Milton Keynes supported 257 patients at home following discharge – an increase of 16 per cent on the previous quarter.
The service then continued to provide support for up to six weeks to 124 people, an increase of 30 per cent on the previous three months.
Already in January 2018 the charity has taken home and helped settle in 36 patients, while 20 older people are having ongoing support with cleaning, shopping and practical tasks in their home.
The charity’s Handyperson Service fitted key safes at short notice so that 27 patients who rely on carers visiting their home or have mobility problems could return to their home and be safely looked after. Eight patients were able to leave hospital because Age UK Milton Keynes’ Deep Clean Service made their home safe and hygienic for them to return to.
The majority of people helped by the Hospital Aftercare Service are aged 75-84 years.
A spokesman said: "Not only do older people often arrive at hospital because they have nowhere else to go, but they also stay unnecessarily because of a lack of practical and emotional support when they are well enough to go home.
"Age UK Milton Keynes’ Hospital Aftercare Service aims to provide that support, helping to keep older people independent once they leave and also preventing re-admissions to hospital.
"The charity works with Milton Keynes Council’s Adult Social Care, older people themselves and sometimes with worried family members who do not live near enough to be able to provide the necessary practical support."