When someone you know and care about is coming home from the hospital, you likely want to be prepared.

Knowing what post-hospital support is available is essential to ensuring release is as stress-free as possible.

Welcome Home

Returning home from a hospital stay is, for many, a welcome time. Hospital is uncomfortable and isolated, providing limited visiting times and no choice over food. Shared bathrooms, hustle and bustle and lots of strange noises can be overstimulating and overwhelming.

Coming home offers relief for most people and a chance to recuperate more fully. 

But it’s not always straightforward. Whilst it’s comfier and quieter, home doesn’t have the same on-hand help you receive in a hospital. In your own space, you’re likely to need post-hospital support to help you get around and perform daily tasks. 

Preparing the home for someone’s return so that they can be as independent as possible can take a collaborative effort between professionals and family or friends.

Assessing Need

Many patients don’t require formal care after a hospital stay, but if you do, a detailed assessment will take place in your home or wherever you will be residing to look at your particular needs. The assessment will look at factors such as:

  • Medical conditions. 
  • Mobility limitations.
  • Home environment.

Hospital staff will arrange any immediate post-hospital support you need once you’re home, but family and friends can help ready a home for return, too. 

Grant-Based Adaptations: A Beginner's Guide

Local Authority Help

If you require minor home adaptations or specialist equipment that costs under £1,000, you may be able to get funding from your local council. For major adaptations, check out the Disabilities Facilities Grant and our blog on financing adaptations here.

The hospital Social Work Team are responsible for making plans with you for leaving the hospital. You might qualify for free short-term post-hospital support to aid your recovery, and this is often called reablement. Reablement care is free for up to 6 weeks. 

The Social Work Team are the ones who will undertake the assessment of your care needs and work with you to create a care plan, often including a team with a mix of people from the NHS and social services as well as the involvement of unpaid carers like family and friends.

Post-hospital support plans might involve the following elements:

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy helps patients regain essential daily life skills. Working with an OT aids individuals in achieving better functionality and becoming more independent. Everyone is entitled to an OT assessment. 

Care At Home

Will you or your loved one need help with domestic tasks? Things like shopping, dressing and collecting prescriptions can be impossible in the initial weeks post-hospital. Post-hospital support with day-to-day living is a vital part of a care plan.

Meals At Home

If an individual cannot prepare or cook food for themselves, this needs to form part of a post-hospital support plan. Can family or friends provide time and effort to cook and deliver meals for the patient? If not, the council may be able to provide a ‘Meals on Wheels’ service, which usually comes at a charge. 

If ongoing care beyond the 6-week reablement period is required, you or your loved one will need to apply for a care needs assessment.

Day Centre Support

Day centre care eligibility is determined by your local council following an assessment. 

Day centres are places where individuals who can’t be fully independent can access recreation facilities and care. Post-hospital support includes helping people access social opportunities.

Alternative Accommodation Help

Did you know that around 1 million people in the UK live in homes that don’t meet their needs?

Sometimes, the property you live in is simply unsuitable and alternative accommodation needs to be hunted down. This can be challenging, and dedicated help may be available. 

Charity And Community Support

Many charities can provide specific help and guidance when it comes to post-hospital support. Helplines and walk-in centres mean you can quickly gain an understanding of what you’re entitled to, borrow equipment and engage in social activities. 

Some key UK charities include:

Age UK

Age UK is the UK’s leading charity providing practical and emotional support to our older people. From befriending services to help for carers, Age UK offers support through many avenues, including a free advice line open every day of the year. 

Red Cross

Famous for their work overseas, the British Red Cross also provide practical, local and emotional support to people around the UK. This includes providing specialist equipment to those with mobility needs. 


Headway is a UK charity that improves the lives of people who have suffered a brain injury. They provide several services, including a freephone helpline and an emergency fund to help people deal with financial implications after a recent brain injury. 


Befrienders are people who come and keep someone company in their own home. Some are volunteers, and others work for private companies. Befrienders can also help with day-to-day tasks like shopping, getting dressed, meals and housework.

Though they don’t replace cleaners or carers, befrienders offer aid, consistency and companionship. 

Faith-Based Communities

For individuals who are already part of a faith-based community, varying types of support can often be sought here. This could include a rota of home visits or meals, and physical help in the way of lifts to and from appointments. 

Home Adaptations

As mentioned above, the home might need some changes to make it suitable for someone returning from hospital. 

Home adaptations vary, and they are usually identified in the initial assessment and by an OT. 

Some examples of minor adaptations include:

  • Adding grab rails in places where an individual requires support standing for long periods.
  • Installing a ramp to gain or improve access to the home itself.
  • Introducing sensor lighting to make moving around the property safer.
  • Adding handrails along steps and staircases for people who are unsteady on their feet or need help moving from one floor to another. 


Major adaptations are usually made to facilitate long-term changes. Examples of major adaptations include;

  • Instllating a wetroom. Wet rooms are completely waterproofed rooms with open-plan showers that sit at floor level. 
  • Introducing a stairlift. Stairlifts feature seats that transport users between floors along a track. 
  • Widening doorways. Standard UK doorways are not wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs. Widening doorways vastly improves access for many people with reduced mobility. 
  • Adding an extension. Some families choose to build an extension, typically if they don’t have enough room on the ground floor to accommodate a downstairs bedroom.

Finding A Contractor To Manage Home Adaptations

Adapting a home, particularly when it involves major changes, requires professional input. 

There are specialist contractors who specialise in home adaptations. These contractors understand accessibility projects more than general builders and have tons of experience in the field.

You may be given a local contractor’s name by your care team lead, or you might decide to do your own research. When hunting down adaptation specialists, look for experience and reviews to help you decide who to use. Find out what to look for in an adaptation contractor here

Help Is Available For Navigating Post-Hospital Support

Leaving the hospital is a relief for many, and knowing what you’re entitled to will help you ask the right questions and get the care you need for yourself or a loved one.

Considering some minor adaptations and need some advice? See our website to find out more about what we do.