What is Wellness and Reablement?
Wellness is a philosophy which focuses on the strengths, abilities and goals of individuals. Significantly, wellness encourages actions to promote a level of independence in daily living tasks. The Wellness approach draws on the philosophy to inform a way of working with people in the home care sector.
Like Wellness, Reablement aims to assist people to maximise their independence and autonomy through time-limited interventions. These interventions are particularly targeted at a person’s specific goal to:
- Adapt to a functional loss, or;
- Regain confidence and capacity to resume daily activities
What are good examples of Wellness and Reablement?
Research shows that the sooner someone stops performing tasks for themselves, the faster they tend to lose their functional ability.
The aim is to assist people to independently perform daily tasks for as long as possible, in the hope that they maintain the ability to maximise independence and autonomy.
Undoubtedly, retaining physical ability helps people continue doing the things they enjoy for longer.
ReableNet – An internationally accepted definition of reablement
The ReAble network was established in 2018. It included 28 members from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Individual and country membership was broadly based on prior experience in implementing or evaluating reablement approaches. Markedly, developing an internationally-agreed definition of reablement was of utmost importance. Having a universal definition is seen as a first step toward a sound evidence base.
With this in mind, Delphi conducted a study to reach an agreement on a definition. The study aimed to agree on the characteristics, components, aims and target groups of reablement.
The following is the internationally-accepted definition of reablement:.
Reablement is a person-centred, holistic approach that aims to enhance an individual’s physical functioning, to increase or maintain their independence in meaningful activities of daily living (at their place of residence or in the community) and to reduce their need for long-term services. It consists of multiple visits and is delivered by a trained and coordinated interdisciplinary team. The approach includes an initial comprehensive assessment followed by regular reassessments and the development of goal-oriented support plans. Reablement supports an individual to achieve their goals, if applicable, through participation in daily activities, home modifications and assistive devices as well as involvement of their social network. It is an inclusive approach irrespective of age, capacity, diagnosis or setting.
Drivers for Wellness and Reablement
- A strong sense from front-line practitioners that organising services on the basis of professional silos leads to poor outcomes, fails to make the best use of the skills of the multi-disciplinary team and is also demotivating for staff.
- Recognition that health and social services too often fail to intervene early enough to prevent ill health and a loss of independence and can sometimes make overly rapid decisions about older people’s long term destinations.
- An aspiration from budget holders to make best use of scarce resources, either to get the best outcomes from existing funding, or possibly even to save money (an economic argument that makes sense intuitively) but requires further investigation.