Wearside Matters: Recovery at home gives Ted a lift

An elderly couple sharing a tender moment.
An elderly couple sharing a tender moment.
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After a series of falls in his home, Ted Evans has been helped back onto his feet by a new team set up to support people in need of short term care.

The 85-year-old Sunderland pensioner, who lives with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), which causes him to suffer from severe breathlessness, had found himself struggling to get around his home.

And while his wife Elizabeth was on hand to care for him, a number of falls – one in which he suffered a head injury – meant that he needed urgent support to deal with his medical and social needs.

Thanks to Recovery at Home, a new city-wide service that aims to provide short term care to prevent people ending up in hospital when they can be better supported at home or in the community, Ted was offered temporary assistance to help get his conditions under control and ensure he was in an environment that would allow him to live as independently as possible.

Katy McKinney, a senior physiotherapist from the Recovery at Home team, was one of the professionals who visited Ted to assess his needs, after his wife called the service – which operates 24 hours a day – to seek help.

Katy was joined by nurse Gordon Robertson, who was able to provide a medical assessment, and between them they agreed the right support for Ted.

Katy said: “As part of the new Recovery at Home team, we are able to support during times of crisis, providing a short term step up in care that allows that person to live independently, but with the right level of support around them to prevent them from needing hospitalisation.

“In Ted’s case, it was clear very quickly that he was unable to get up and down his stairs unaided, and it was really quite unsafe for Elizabeth to carry on trying to aid him alone.”

Rather than be admitted to hospital, Katy and Gordon arranged for Ted to be supported at one of city’s bed-based services, Farmborough Court, which provides medical support and therapy to re-enable people who are recovering from illness.

“Farmborough Court provided the perfect place for Ted to regain his independence, as he was not poorly enough to be in hospital, but was also unable to cope at home,” explains Katy, “by having access to a whole range of support – including community beds, nurses, social care workers and pharmacists, we are able to prevent people from needlessly going into hospital.”

Recovery at Home is part of a wider programme, known as All Together Better, which brings health care professionals together with their colleagues from social care, as well as local support organisations including Age UK Sunderland and the Sunderland Carer’s Centre, to deliver patient-centred care to those who need it most.

The programme aims to deliver help and care that keeps people out of hospital and living as independently as possible, ideally in the comfort of their home.

For more information about the Recovery at Home service, and the All Together Better programme, or to read more stories like Ted’s, visit www.atbsunderland.org.uk or follow @ATBSunderland on Twitter or search on Facebook.

All Together Better survey

Do you have a long term health problem or look after someone who does?

We’d like to find out what you think about local health and social care services.

All Together Better is a new service that brings together health and social care staff along with a range of other organisations, including charities and carer support agencies, to help people stay as well as possible and in their own home.

All Together Better is for people in Sunderland with long-term health problems or disabilities, but who need a little extra, short-term care to prevent them going into hospital if they don’t need to be there, or support them after they’ve been discharged from hospital.

Fill in our survey online at www.atbsunderland.org.uk 

Anyone who would prefer a printed copy of the survey that they can send back free of charge, call 0191 561 3328 or email atb@nhs.net
The closing date is April 10.