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Ground-breaking project helps Addingham patient, 90, return home
For pensioner Kempton Cannon, returning to his empty house after a spell in hospital was set to be a daunting prospect.
The 90-year-old former painter and decorator, of Addingham, was anxious about how he would cope back home living alone.
But now, as a ground-breaking project expands across the whole of Bradford and Airedale for the first time, a package of help and support is available to Kempton and hundreds of patients like him.
Home from Hospital is an initiative designed to ease adults of all ages safely back into everyday life after discharge from hospital.
It helps with everything from benefits guidance and restarting any home care to making sure houses are safe, and that gas, electric and water supplies are in working order.
Patients receive a hamper of food basics and a simple safety and well-being checklist, plus a friendly face or two from volunteers involved in the project, which is co-ordinated by the award-winning charity, The Carers Resource.
For Kempton, the visits are proving a lifeline. “I do not know what I would have done, or how I would have got back on my feet, without them,” he said. “They have helped me feel better, which in turn has helped me get better.
“The people who come are like old friends, as if I have known them all my life. They make sure I’m warm, eating and sleeping properly, and pop to the shops like a good neighbour if I need anything.
“Having a coffee and a chat with them makes a real difference to me as I try to get back into a routine and regain my independence.”
The programme of additional support, which can last up to six weeks, was originally offered to patients being discharged from Airedale General Hospital.
The service has been extended to include patients returning home from main hospitals and community hospitals across the district, including Troutbeck in Ilkley.
“We’ve been able to broaden the scope of the project so it is accessible to more people in our community, so you do not have to be elderly or living alone to benefit from it,” said Shelley Marshall, who manages the Home from Hospital project for the charity.
“In addition to supporting people to become more confident and comfortable when returning home, the project also helps reduce the number of hospital re-admissions.”
Patients can access the scheme via hospital nursing staff. There is also a self-referral available.
Volunteers are vital to the success of the scheme and the charity is currently launching a recruitment drive.
People wishing to refer themselves before admission, or who wanting details about joining the volunteers should contact The Carers’ Resource on (01274) 531377.