What Is Reablement Care, Who Needs It, And How Is It Different From Ongoing Care

Sonia Ahmed
Aug 25
min read
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If someone has a sudden deterioration in their health and cannot perform daily life activities on their own, they may need temporary care to adapt and live independently again. This temporary care is called reablement care, intermediate care, or aftercare.

Research by SCIE found that reablement care can reduce the need for care services by 60%. Moreover, 63% of the reablement users didn't need home care after the program, while 26% required fewer home care hours.

Reablement is different from ongoing care offered to patients with physical or mental health conditions that require long-term care.

Who Can Benefit From Reablement Care?

Service users recovering from an illness or accident can benefit from reablement care as they leave the hospital and begin to live independently again. It can take the burden off the family and encourage the service user to function without support.

Individuals who can benefit from reablement care the most:

  • Physically weak patients who need support in daily activities during the recovery
  • People who require assistance to adjust to new circumstances due to sudden deterioration of health
  • Service users on medication that may cause drowsiness or disorientation
  • People who need to relearn basic life skills such as dressing, washing, or moving about
  • Service users at risk of readmission to the hospital unless they receive meticulous care at home
  • Ill or injured patients with disorientation who can be at risk if left alone.

How Long Does Reablement Take?

The length of the reablement program depends on the extent of care a patient might need. Usually, reablement lasts between four to six weeks from commencement, in most cases, six weeks is enough to help the individuals regain independence and become confident with the need for minimal support.

What Happens During Reablement Care?

Once a service user is accepted for reablement, they get care tailored to their unique needs, including physiotherapy or occupational therapy as required. The reablement process typically includes the following:

  1. Assessment: Healthcare professionals assess the patient's mobility, retained skills, physical strength, and ability to perform basic day-to-day activities.
  2. Frequent Visits: The carer may visit frequently and stay longer than a traditional care worker. Instead of taking over the service users’ tasks, they encourage the service user to perform all tasks themselves with minimal assistance.
  3. Prognosis Assessment: The reablement team assesses the service user often and optimises support to push the patient to complete all tasks without any help from carers.
  4. Aids and Adjustments: If necessary, the carer may recommend adjustments or assistive aids such as stairlifts or support bars to help the patient function independently.
  5. Forward Planning: This plan details the service users’ care after the reablement is complete. The plan involves the service user, healthcare providers, and friends and family involved in aftercare if required.

What Services Does Reablement Care Include?

The reablement team usually includes support workers/care workers, physiotherapists, and occupational therapists. The services depend on the extent of support required by the service user. Following are a few of the services included in reablement care.

  • Personal care (washing, bathing, dressing, etc.)
  • Mobilising around the house and going out
  • Taking medication
  • Practical care (Housework, cleaning, meal preparation, etc.)
  • Shopping
  • Reconnecting with the local community

Ongoing Care: How Does It Differ From Reablement Care

Unlike reablement, ongoing care is for service users that are deemed to require long-term support or that have a higher ongoing care need. Reablement care is beneficial because it sets clear goals for your recovery and means you have a specific aim to work towards.

For example, service users recovering from cancer may require ongoing care during recovery and rehabilitation. Similarly, some conditions such as dementia or those with complex care needs may require ongoing support to live with dignity in their homes for as long as possible.

Ongoing care can last much longer than reablement, and the carers will be more involved in the care in order to support the service users perform their daily activities.

Whether you need reablement or ongoing care, you can choose the perfect carer through Pair my Care and get the proper support. We don't believe in limiting our service users' independence for the sake of getting tasks done more quickly; we’d rather wait as long as it takes so that our customers feel a sense of self-achievement and are able to meet their reablement goals. The benefits to someone’s mental health from reaching and becoming independent again should never be underestimated.