A doctor decides if you are well enough to go home from hospital. When it is time to leave, hospital staff will talk with you about your first few weeks of aftercare.

Find out how you can get extra help and live at home.

Find out if you need aftercare at home

The hospital staff can talk to you about your aftercare needs before you leave hospital.

This is what could happen:

  1. They will talk to you about what care you might get in the first few weeks. This could be from friends and family, the community and health and social care workers.
  2. You will also talk about how you get home, your medicine and ways to get help with everyday tasks.
  3. The health and social care team works out if you need aftercare in your first few weeks home. They tell you in hospital and will be in touch once you are home.

See the leaflet the hospital should give you before you leave.
Or learn more in a longer guide to leaving hospital by Age UK.

Get help when you get back home

It is good to have someone to help you when you get home, if you need. You might know somebody who can. Or get someone to visit for free to check you’ve got everything you need.

Ask charity Dorset First Point to help when you get home by phoning 0330 123 2550. They can make sure you’ve got milk and bread, have topped up utilities and have told your GP.

If you are in the Royal Bournemouth or Poole District Hospital, ask the British Red Cross to help you when you get back home. Phone them on 01235 552 665.

Ask Dorset Council for help moving your bins until you get better.

Get extra help at home and with errands

While you get better, you might need help at home or with errands. You might know somebody who can do this. There are also people and organisations who can do this for a charge.

Find out about Age UK’s home support to help you with things like cleaning and shopping, for £17 an hour.

See who can do household chores for a fee (Help & Kindness).

Find out what aftercare you need to get better

You will get aftercare at home if the health and social care team works out that this will help you recover.

They will look to see if you need help doing daily tasks that you did not need before hospital.

You will probably only need a few days of free aftercare but sometimes it lasts up to 4 weeks. This could include support from:

  • a volunteer
  • reablement support workers
  • a nurse
  • a carer
  • a social worker
  • an occupational therapist
  • physiotherapist
  • a speech therapist

Get better and learn to do daily tasks yourself

If the team sees that aftercare will be helpful, you will get support to learn day-to-day tasks again.

This aftercare could help you to use the bathroom, to dress and to make meals. This often takes a few days. As you get better, your support team will check how much care you need.

In most cases, you can do everything you could before you went into hospital in less than 4 weeks.

Meet your care needs after you get better

After your recovery in the first month, you can pay for care at home to get extra help.

Get care from someone you know

Someone in your family, or a neighbour or friend, might want to do some daily tasks for you. They can help any carer you qualify for or pay for.

They can get help to do this unpaid care from a local charity. Phone Carer Support Dorset on 0800 368 8349 or email admin@carersupportdorset.co.uk.

They can also ask Dorset Council to check what could help them care. Dorset will do a carers assessment to find out.

Tell Dorset Council about your needs as an unpaid carer.

Look for home care yourself

Get help finding and choosing care at home.

See a list of companies and freelance people who offer care in the home (Help & Kindness).
Check what rating care companies have from the Government body that looks at how good care services are, the Care Quality Commission.
Find a Dorset independent small business carer. These community care micro-providers commit to be reliable, safe and good at meeting care needs.

Ask us to look at your care needs

If you need help looking after yourself, you can ask us to look at your care needs. We will look at what daily tasks you can and cannot do.

You will need to wait for an appointment. This could be by phone. If care is not free for you, you can find care yourself without an assessment.

You will only get financial help if:

  • you have less than £23,250
  • you have needs that mean you qualify for care

Find out if you might qualify for care (Which?)
Ask us for a care needs assessment in Dorset. Phone the Adult Access Team on 01305 221 016 or email adultaccess@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk

You can also find out about benefits you might qualify for (GOV.UK).

Take control of money for care you qualify for

You can talk to the care manager looking at your needs about ways to get that care.

If you qualify for care, ask about managing your care budget. This gives you a direct payment so you can choose your care yourself.

Find out how getting a personal budget can help you find care.

Meet your healthcare needs after your recovery

Find out if you qualify for NHS continuing healthcare

After your recovery in the first month, you can get health care through your GP.

But if your needs cannot be met by normal health services alone, you may qualify for NHS continuing healthcare.

A nurse or other professional can check and tell you if you might qualify. If so, a full assessment of your needs will be done.

Find out more about getting a full NHS assessment of your healthcare needs after your recovery.

Managing your condition yourself, with help, after your recovery

If you have a long-term condition, there are ways you can manage better day-to-day. You can: