What is reablement?
As the name suggests, ‘reablement’ is about helping people regain the ability to do some or all of the activities they could do prior to an accident or illness, or in this case a stroke. This is Angela’s story and how she managed to overcome the effects of her stroke through reablement.
Like many people, Angela enjoys socialising with her friends and going out for meals with her husband. That was until she had a stroke and life took a very different turn for her. Angela was unable to walk (‘I couldn’t put one foot in front of the other’), unable to wash herself properly or use a knife and fork. Simple daily tasks became either a huge challenge or not possible at all, taking away the choices she could make and the control she had. That was until the Adult Social Care’s Skills for Independent Living team (SkILs) became involved.
The SkILs team are part of Adult Social Care’s reablement service. Helping people to help themselves and regain their independence, is at the very heart of what the team does. The service uses a variety of different types of support including equipment, alarms and sensors, along with guidance and encouragement by their dedicated staff to build up confidence.
Angela’s SkILs workers began by visiting her twice a day and helping her with things like washing and dressing herself. They set small goals and encouraged her when she was struggling and becoming impatient with herself. ‘We’ve had a few tears,’ she admits.
Liz, one of her reablement workers, is keen to stress that it’s very much a team effort, and praises Angela’s determination. `Nothing has been done by us – it’s all been done by Angela with our support.’
Angela has also had help around her home with assistive technology, such as a grab stick, walking trolley and has had a bath lift fitted. ‘I’ve come on in leaps and bounds since I had the walking trolley,’ she says, ‘and I was dreaming of a bath!’ Her husband has also helped by fitting a hand rail, a ramp and a security system for their front door.
‘I’m really, really happy; they’ve been so supportive,’ she enthuses, ‘I couldn’t thank them enough.’
Keep reading the blog this week for more information about Action for Stroke Month.