“Before we were in this situation, we would never have known how much care was actually available to us at home”
“Phil” and “Louise” had been in their own home for years when Phil became ill and needed to go into North Devon Hospital. For two weeks, Louise went to visit Phil every day in Barnstaple. However, due to an outbreak of an infectious illness there was restricted access on the ward and Louise was no longer able to visit. Phil was in hospital on his own like this for another two weeks before he was discharged with a support package for him to receive at home.
“It was terrible not being able to visit him for all that time” Said Louise. “And it was terrible for him not to have any visitors. Luckily he didn’t get the infection but he was in a side room and there was no stimulation for him, it really wasn’t good for his mental state and he really went downhill.
“While Phil was in hospital the therapy teams came round to visit us, they made all the adaptations that they needed to our home so that when he was ready to come home, our house was ready for him.
“We really didn’t want him to go into hospital at all at first, because you are always so scared that if you go in you won’t come out! But it’s been so much better having Phil at home; although he is still quite poorly he is in control here and amongst all of his familiar surroundings; it means that we can be together as well! I think that Phil has got better so much quicker because he has been at home.
“The level of care that we have had for Phil has been amazing; we feel that we have been so lucky. We have people come in up to four times per day more if we need it, and we’ve built relationships with the whole care team. The nurses who come and see Phil really know us and pay such attention, even to the littlest things. I don’t think you get that in hospital because the nurses are always so busy with lots of other patients to see.
“Before we were in this situation, we would never have known how much care was actually available to us at home. We know that if we are worried or something goes wrong we can call the nursing teams and they will come and see us. We also know that all of the different carers whether they are district nurses or the night carers talk to each other, so if they notice anything they will always be in touch with each other straight away. They’ve all been so good, we really feel very lucky.
Phil has been cared for at home for 6 months now. When he first got home, his goal was to be able to out in the garden and have a cream tea by the end of the summer, he’s already achieved that, and he is working on his next goal which is to start walking again. The Community Nursing and therapy teams will continue to work with Phil and Louise to help Phil achieve his goal.