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Moving on

Recovery can sometimes take quite some time, although everyone is different. It is  fair to say that we probably know the least about longer term recovery.This is largely because the current research recommendations are to follow patients up for "at least 6 months" after Intensive Care.Also, much of the research that has been done has tended to use questionnaires which,although very useful, may not actually tell us very much about what recovery is like for patients in their everyday lives.

Having spoken to a number of patients at one year after hospital discharge, however, it seems that while some may have lingering physical and psychological issues after being in Intensive Care, many have learned to live with them. The main focus at this time would appear to be keeping well, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and getting out and about. For some, the "anniversary" of their time in Intensive Care can prompt them to reflect on their emotional journey. In this section, we've provided some links to general information and advice.We hope you find it useful.

 

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Web Link: A family member's story

This link will take you to the webpage of NHS South Tees, and to Diane Bousfield's experiences of caring for her husband Tony. Tony spent many months in ICU, with a complex neurological (brain) illness. Diane has written a series of detailed and compelling poems and books about her experiences. She has very kindly given permission for them to be shared here.

Web Link: Age Scotland (advice for carers)

This link will take you to the Age Scotland website.They provide a fantastic range of information and advice on many different issues such as housing, legal issues, saving money on your energy bills, eating well and common health conditions. Much of this is available in free leaflets that you can download or print off. Part of their services include an Information and Advice team. Their staff and volunteers specialise in answering enquiries from older people, their carers and...

Web Link: Art therapy

Some things are difficult to put into words. Some people find art really useful after Intensive Care. This is a link for an Edinburgh based group, who occassionally run workshops for people with health issues. Why not have a look?

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.

Web Link: A-Z of health conditions

Many people who come into Intensive Care have pre-existing health conditions. Part of your recovery will likely include understanding and dealing with those conditions too. This link will take you to an NHS page with information on 100's of conditions, symptoms and treatments. It's not exhaustive, but we hope you find it helpful.

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.

Web Link: Blog from an ICU survivor (Louise)

This link will take you to Louise's blog site, which she regularly updates. Louise was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth in November, 2018. She spent 13 days in the Intensive Care Unit, due to a perforated oesophagus (gullet) and another 71 days in hospital before being discharged home to her family. Louise writes in a very authentic and compassionate way about her experiences of having ICU delirium (strange or distressing dreams or hallucinations)...

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: Carers' Assessment (NHS Choices)

When someone ends up Intensive Care, close family and friends are also affected. They play a very important part in the patients' recovery after they go home.Given the importance of their involvement, the government has ensured that they have certain rights that, by law, must be met. Close family or close friends are often called "carers" by health and social care services, and most have a legal right to an assessment of their own needs. That includes things like...