Returning home after a stroke

When you leave hospital, you should have a discharge plan from your stroke team. Your discharge plan covers the practical help and support you might need at home. This might include help at home, such as someone coming in to help you get washed and dressed, advice about financial help or arranging suitable adaptations or equipment for you in your home.

If your stroke was severe, you may need residential or nursing home care rather than being able to return home from hospital.

What help and support can I get at home?

  • Your GP practice. Your GP will be in charge of your care once you return home. They can support you by giving you general advice about your health and putting you in touch with other services and healthcare professionals.
  • Your pharmacy. Your local pharmacist can give you advice and information about your medicines. You can often arrange for them to order and deliver your prescriptions.
  • Stroke nurses and therapists. In some areas of Scotland there will be a stroke nurse or therapist who is there to help you as you return home from hospital.
  • Social services. Support to help you manage at home can be arranged through your local council's social work department (sometimes called social care or social services). Services to help you live as independently as possible include help with washing and dressing, help with housework and shopping, day care services, respite care, advice on transport, housing and equipment and information on benefits.

Services, aids and adaptations to help

Aids are things like seating aids for bathing or using the toilet, kitchen equipment and blocks to raise the height of chairs or beds. Adaptations include sloping ramps for wheelchair access, rails and handles to help get up the stairs or steps or sometimes stair lifts. There are many companies that specialise in equipment that can help you cope with day-to-day life. An occupational therapist can advise on what equipment might be best for you and where you can get it if there is anything you have to buy for yourself.

There are also services to help you with travel, benefits and finance. Mobile services may be available that can provide care such as dental visits, hairdressers or chiropodists in your own home.

If you have any worries or concerns about returning home after a stroke or you want to find out what is available locally, ask your stroke nurse or call the CHSS Advice Line nurses on 0808 801 0899.