Prevention: Reablement

The film provides an introduction to home care reablement.

Reablement is a relatively new service aimed at supporting people to regain independence that may have been reduced or lost through illness or disability. The film focuses on the reablement service in the London Borough of Sutton, known as START (Short Term Assessment and Reablement Team), where we follow the experiences of two people using the service and hear from the manager and senior carer. We also hear from health economist Prof Julien Forder about new research evidence on the cost effectiveness of reablement.

Key messages for practice

  1. Reablement helps people learn or re-learn the skills necessary for daily living that have been lost through deterioration in health and/or increased support needs. A focus on regaining physical ability is central, as is active reassessment.
  2. Reablement has the potential to be cost-effective by reducing ongoing support needs through sustaining independent living.
  3. Commissioners and service providers should recognise that results for people with different needs vary, although no-one should be excluded from reablement on the basis of their health state. Some reablement services exclude people with dementia, but this film highlights the difference reablement can make to people with dementia and the significant difference it can make to the experiences of family carers.
  4. Reablement requires care workers to adopt a 'hands-off' approach to supporting people, which is distinct from the practice in traditional home care. Managers should provide appropriate training and supervision to support this ethos.

Who will find this useful?