the British Red Cross is set to launch a new service helping 350 older orthopaedic patients every year on Monday.
The idea is to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions and readmissions, helping prevent isolation and rebuilding confidence in over 60s in north and west Leeds who have received orthopaedic or muscular skeletal treatment.
The Home from Hospital service will see Red Cross volunteers work with patients to help them to remain independent in their own homes.
Typical help includes providing emotional support or companionship, help with shopping, getting to health appointments, form filling, collecting prescriptions, sign posting to Neighbourhood Network Schemes in their area, therapeutic care, and medical loan – wheelchairs and commodes.
Marjorie Ashbrook, 85, from Cookridge, is one of the first beneficiaries to use the service, after falling and breaking her hip in May. She said: “It has been very reassuring to know that someone is there if I need extra help.
“When I came home after two weeks in hospital, Beth started visiting me and helping me around the house while I’m recovering. I can get about quite well now, but I’ve got to be careful.
“It was a surprise when I found out the British Red Cross does this kind of thing – and I think it’s wonderful, especially for people who may be on their own and need a bit of extra help to stay independent.”
Beth Mabey, who has been visiting Marjorie as part of the Home from Hospital service, said: “It is a great feeling being able to contribute to the community and help people in need.
“Even the smallest thing can make such a difference to the life of someone struggling to settle back into their home after a stay in hospital.
“Volunteering is definitely rewarding but you’re able to build and gain skills you wouldn’t normally get the chance to otherwise.”
April Baskind of British Red Cross, said: ““This is going to make a fantastic difference to many people’s lives.”