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Reablement and recovery

Reablement is short-term support to help people get their lives back on track and retain or regain daily living skills following an illness, injury, hospital stay or a crisis. The focus of reablement is on restoring the ability to manage independently at home rather than on resolving health issues. Reablement can build confidence and reduce the need for longer-term care and support.

Unlike traditional care, where carers do things for you, reablement support assistants work with you to help you learn or re-learn the skills you need to look after yourself. There are many reasons why you may need that bit of extra help, such as after:

  • an illness
  • a stay in hospital
  • an accident, injury or fall
  • a bereavement
  • a general deterioration in your ability to manage.

If you live in your own home and have recently had difficulty carrying out daily living activities, such as washing, getting dressed, walking around your home, getting out and about or making hot drinks and meals, some reablement support might help you.

What can I do to help my own recovery?

If you know you are going into hospital, plan ahead and think about what will happen when you return home. Read the Going into and coming out of hospital section for some things to consider.

Have a positive approach to working towards recovery. Set yourself goals and try to do a bit more each day.

Don’t lose touch with your informal network of support. Friends and family may be able to offer practical help or a listening ear to help you get back to living well. Local organisations in West Sussex are also there to help you. Trying visiting Getting out and about to see what support is available near you.

How can I support someone else's recovery?

Encourage the person you care for to practise new skills and recover physically. This sometimes means stepping back and giving them the time, encouragement, and space to do things for themselves, even when you want to help them.

Motivation is a key to success. Maintain enthusiasm by making sure any goals are achievable and reminding the person how much they will enjoy regaining certain skills.

Occupational therapy

Occupational therapy helps people with physical impairments, medical conditions, learning disabilities and mental health conditions to live more independently.

An occupational therapist (OT) can work with you on everyday tasks you may be struggling with, such as getting dressed, making food or getting around, and suggest ways to make the task safer and more manageable, for example, by doing it in a different way or using a piece of equipment.

As a key part of West Sussex County Council's Independent Living Service (ILS), occupational therapists can help you make the most of your abilities and reduce your reliance on others.

If you are looking to hire a wheelchair for a short period of time, the Red Cross may be able to help.

If you want to pay for an assessment by a private occupational therapist the College of Occupational Therapists Specialist Section -Independent Practice website can assist you in locating a private practitioner.


Last updated: 13 December 2023