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Helping Elderly Retain Independence

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Quite often, social workers find that older people are referred to them despite their having been managing well and living quite happily, because a sudden setback such as illness or a fall has taken away their mobility, their independence, and very often their confidence. Such individuals may also have had a spell in hospital, and they need help when being discharged to return home.

Buckinghamshire County Council has now introduced a service that aims to step in to support these people and help them regain that confidence and independence. Called Reablement, the service provides a free short-term period of support during which a trained member of staff will help the person rebuild the skills needed for day-to-day living at home, such as personal care, shopping and preparing meals.

For people recovering from an illness or injury, evidence shows that Reablement leads to greater improvements in physical functioning, health-related quality of life and social care outcomes than standard home care.

Buckinghamshire County Council Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing Patricia Birchley said: "It can be very debilitating when you're used to living independently, and suddenly illness or an accidental injury means that you can't cope. It takes away your confidence, and there's often fear about what the future may hold — and this can lead to depression.

"The Reablement service is there to step in and get you back on your feet if something like this happens. A trained staff member will work closely with you to get back the skills you need to live life independently. And regaining your skills gives you back the confidence to move forward with life."

Buckinghamshire's Reablement service is provided by Buckinghamshire Care, a private limited company owned entirely by the County Council. The Reablement service was launched last autumn, since which time over 240 people have been helped across Bucks.

Recruitment is currently underway to expand the Reablement team. If you are interested in becoming part of the team, please visit the jobs website www.buckscc.gov.uk/jobs

For further details on Reablement please click here

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