‘Foster Parents’ for Discharged Elderly Patients

Elderly patients that are are ready to be discharged from hospital but can not go home as social care is unable to quickly put in place a care plan occupy a large number of beds. Often these patients need support that can be provided by a ‘lay’ person with no or minimal training. For example, checking on their well being, making and serving food and drink and reminding about medication. Many elderly patients have no one at home to care for them or have family who live far away when all they need is some minimal support within their local community. People who wish to earn something extra could register on a database as a ‘foster parent’ for the elderly and that they were willing to visit and support patients nearby. It should be simple to devise a data base, along the lines of ‘right move’ or ‘childcare.Co.uk’ that NHS providers could search for a nearby carer. All would need a DBS check and a webinar on expectations/dos and don’t. Social care visits are so short and expensive. In this way, given that it may be people in the community wishing to just earn a bit more or help in local community, this may be more rewarding work and possibly lead to greater social cohesion as connections within the community of the elderly person are made. Some ‘foster carers’ may be willing to serve more complex cases or even welcome short term patients into their own home for basic care. In such cases, their home would need to be inspected and training provided, similar to that of actual child foster carers. They would require a spare room, could have a hospital bed installed and have bed linen etc provided. Many who are not able to take on work, must be home for their own childcare etc. may be attracted by this work. Again, there may be cross generational and community connections made for the elderly person that then also limit repeat burden on the nhs triggered by loneliness/lack of well being. Care may well be of a higher standard than can be provided by private firms running short care visits. Pay May we’ll be near minimum wage per hour but this may still be attractive to some who don’t or can’t travel far or work out of the home for long hours.