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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: "Long Covid" Support

Large numbers of people report suffering from prolonged, debilitating and sometimes serious symptoms following infection with suspected or confirmed Covid-19. This link will take you to a support page with information and resources to help understand and assist in your recovery.

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: ACAS Employment Advice Website

Worried about your employment rights after a stay in the ICU and during your recovery? The ACAS website is easy to navigate, full of information and will give you the lowdown on your rights as an employee.

Web Link: Accessing Physiotherapy after an ICU stay

Most often, those recovering from an ICU stay will need some degree of physiotherapy. Here is how to access it where you are.

Web Link: Advice for patients with new-onset anosmia during COVID-19 pandemic

Loss of sense of smell, or anosmia, has a significant impact on quality of life. Typically it affects not only our ability to smell (both good and bad odours) but impairs our ability to detect flavours. Our sense of taste is actually pretty basic – not much more that sweet, sour, salty, bitter or ‘meaty’ (called umami) and this may be unaffected, although many patients also find that this can be affected after COVID-19. We will try to provide some advice for anyone...

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: 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 of 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) and...

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: Breathing Space - Mental Health Support

Breathing Space are here in times of difficulty to provide a safe and supportive space by listening, offering advice and providing information.

External Video: Breathlessness: how "pacing" can help

This short clip will explain how a technique known as "pacing" may help feelings of breathlessness. You might also find the booklets on bodily positions to help breathlessness, breathing control and how to conserve your energy helpful in dealing with breathlessness.