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.
Reablement support assistants from the Regaining Independence Service can work with you and West Sussex County Council’s occupational therapy team to agree goals for you in your own home and support you to achieve them. Reablement support assistants will visit you at home at agreed times to assist you in achieving your goals. These services are free for up to six weeks.
Community connectors are available for up to twelve sessions through West Sussex County Council day centres to help you regain your independence and access support within the wider local community, such as using public transport or joining a community group, These services are free for up to 12 sessions as long as you are taking part and making progress. To be referred, phone West Sussex County Council’s Adults’ CarePoint on 01243 642121.
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.
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 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.
An occupational therapist will usually assess you in your home to see what your strengths and difficulties are. Following your assessment they may:
- provide advice and information or demonstrate techniques to help you manage everyday tasks
- loan you equipment free of charge for as long as you require it– (the Independent Living Service does not provide wheelchairs or walking aids as these are supplied by the NHS)
- organise minor adaptations like rails if your disability prevents you getting around your home safely
- help you plan and organise major building works to your home if it is very difficult for you to live independently or the layout prevents you getting around
- discuss options if building work is impractical or you might be better moving to different accommodation
- help those offering you care, for example, if you have trouble with mobility or movement, they may advise about handling techniques or special equipment.
If you think some advice or equipment from an occupational therapist would help you, speak to your GP, or ask West Sussex County Council’s Adults' CarePoint for an occupational therapy assessment. You can also ask for a reassessment if your condition has changed and the equipment you have is no longer meeting your needs.
Contact Adults' CarePoint
Online: online enquiry form
Phone: 01243 642121
NGT Text Relay: 18001 01243 642121
(available as a downloadable app for computer tablets and smartphones. Helps people with speech and hearing difficulties.)
Opening hours: Monday – Friday 9.00am-5.00pm (excluding bank holidays)
NRS Healthcare has been commissioned to run an equipment service on behalf of West Sussex County Council and Sussex Community NHS Trust.
Following an assessment by an occupational therapist, community nurse or physiotherapist, the service can provide items such as:
- bath seats, toilet frames and grab rails
- hoists and manual handling equipment
- nursing equipment, such as special beds and pressure prevention mattresses
- equipment for people with sight or hearing impairments
- specialist equipment for children with physical disabilities.
The equipment is loaned to you and there are no financial assessments or charges. The service will deliver it, make sure that it is safely fitted, if necessary, and show you how to look after it.
Each year up to £250,000 worth of loaned equipment is not returned, so please return anything you no longer need. NRS Healthcare will collect your unwanted equipment free of charge if it has a barcode. It will then be thoroughly cleaned and loaned to someone else who needs it.
Please contact NRS Healthcare direct if you have equipment to return.
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.