Maximising the potential of reablement
Successfully ending a period of reablement
Where a person has benefited from reablement but has ongoing support needs to be met by a conventional home care agency, the concern is that this traditional approach to providing ‘care’ might undo the progress made during reablement.
- If a person is assessed as having ongoing support needs at the end of reablement, it is crucial that subsequent services continue to provide support in a way that maintains the progress that person had made. The implication of this is that independent sector providers of home care need to adapt their own service to support the aims of reablement.
- There are a number of ways in which independent home care providers can be encouraged to work to sustain people’s independence and any progress they made during their time with the reablement service. One example is a service whose reablement workers mentor home care workers when it appears the person’s support needs have increased following handover. Other local authorities have renegotiated home care contracts to reinforce the reabling ethos.
- It will help to ensure a smooth transition to the ongoing care provider if the reablement service ensures all relevant information about the individual is communicated in a timely manner. It may also be helpful for care workers from the reablement service and from the new provider to work together for the last few reablement visits so that they can share knowledge, understanding and skills. If a person’s ongoing support needs are going to be met by another (home care) provider, relevant family members should be involved in planning that support.
- If at the end of reablement a person does not meet the council’s eligibility criteria for ongoing support, the reablement team and the social worker should consider whether other services such as social clubs or volunteer befriending schemes may still benefit the individual.
- When reablement works well, the ‘reabled’ person will be able to do things for themselves and they will not be referred for ongoing support, such as traditional home care. Commissioners and providers of reablement should be alert to the fact that for some people, particularly those who do not have many visitors or social activities, this may lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation. This is an example of a successful service outcome (no ongoing need for support) not necessarily equating with a successful outcome from the individual’s perspective.