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Getting home

Getting home is a huge step on the road to recovery. While it is often an enormous relief to be back home, some may find the first few weeks a bit of an emotional rollercoaster in terms of readjusting to everyday life. In this section, we've provided some general information and advice on the common physical and psychological issues you might face,what you can do to help the recovery process along, and the types of help that might be available to you and your family after you get home.We've also included a few short pieces on other people's experience, which we hope you will find helpful.

 

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Article: "You have to stay positive"

When we've spoken to other people about their illness or recovery, they very often tell us that "staying positive" (although sometimes difficult) was very important to them. It is often surprising to hear this from people who have had the most difficult time of it, but time and time again, they tell us how "lucky" they feel and how helpful it is to "count your blessings". Here are some examples of the things people told us. It may take some time...

Article: "You've got to be determined"

Patients very often tell us how important their own "determination" is during the recovery process, particularly after they get home. While some people may always have had a determined personality, others told us that they had no choice but to be determined. "You've got to have the will...and say, "Yes, I am going to get better. I'm going to try and get my life back." It's important to stay focused on moving forward in your recovery, but...

Web Link: 10 today: videos of 10 minute exercises

This link will take you to BBC Radio 5's webpages, where you'll find 10 short videos that will help you get moving and stretching. The exercises are gentle and easy to do at home.

Web Link: Alcohol and recovery: where to get help

Alcohol is a major health issue in the UK.Research has shown that around a quarter of admissions to Intensive Care are alcohol related.If you're worried about how much you or someone you care about is drinking,there is plenty of help available. This link will take you to the Alcoholics Anonymous website.They hold groups all over the UK and have a number of useful resources on their website, including other peoples' stories and easy to read literature that you can download for free.

Web Link: Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance is a benefit for people aged 65 or over who need help with personal care (washing,dressing or eating, for example).Some patients need this type of help in the first few weeks and months after they get home.This link will take you to the NHS Choices web page, which will tell you more about what this allowance is, who is eligible and how to claim it.

Article: Balance issues

Patients sometimes tell us that they continue to have issues with balance after they go home. This can be due to a number of things including muscle wasting and weakness and numbness or tingling in the feet or legs. Some patients also suffer from a temporary loss of confidence when they first get home, although this seems to pass quite quickly in most cases.

Web Link: BBC news on the lasting mental health impact of ICU

This is a very short but relevant article from the BBC’s health page, outlining the findings from a recent UK study into the mental health issues some patients face after Intensive Care.

Web Link: BBC News page on support after patients go home

This is a very short but interesting and relevant article from the BBC’s health page. It outlines a recent UK study involving over 300 patients, the physical problems they faced and wide variation in support they received after they got home.

External Video: Bob describes his long term recovery

In this short video, Bob (a former Intensive Care patient) talks about his recovery over the months and years since his accident.

Web Link: Borrowing a wheelchair

Although you may not have been issued with a wheelchair when you leave hospital, some people continue to have problems with walking after they get home.It might be helpful to borrow a wheelchair "just to get out of the house", if you're not sure how far you can walk, you tire easily or have lost your confidence a little. This link will take you to the webpage of the British Red Cross, who may be able to lend you mobility equipment.If you type in your postcode, they can...