Reablement Service offers home comfort to people leaving hospital

18 June 2018

The Reablement Service team is helping people return to their normal way of life either following a stay in hospital or by supporting people in their own homes.

The prospect of a prolonged stay in hospital can cause feelings of worry and upset among Cheshire West’s older generation following an accident or illness.

Many are desperate to return to a normal life back at home but are concerned about how they will cope.

The Council's Reablement Service is alleviating these worries by supporting people in their own home. 77-year-old Audrey Clorley is currently being visited by reablement workers in her Malpas home following a hospital stay for a hip replacement operation.

Audrey said: "I was in hospital for nearly a month and I couldn't wait to get back home. I live on my own and I'm in this bungalow and I'm a very lucky girl. Being in this bungalow makes a big difference.

"In hospital I was in a room on my own. They sent me home and they said to me you are having care. Where would I have been without the support? They have been fantastic. If they hadn't been here to help me I would have been back in hospital.

"They have been doing everything to help me. When I first came home, the first thing they did when I came in was help me get in through the front door. They have been fantastic. They used to visit me three times a day."

Audrey was not allowed to bend and needed support with mobility. Among the many things reablement workers have been helping Audrey with include making food, carrying things around, making the bed and opening the blinds.

The most important support has been boosting her confidence and encouraging her to do things for herself. Over time, Audrey has progressed and regained her confidence. The visits have been reduced gradually as Audrey has begun to improve and become more independent.

"I do my own breakfast now and I have been out in my car. I'm doing my own ironing now. The support has been out of this world. I think the work they do is fantastic, I don’t know what I'd do without the help."

Another person who relied on the service is an 82 year old woman from Little Sutton, who wished to remain anonymous. She fell in her home and lay in the same spot for three days.

She said: "It was a Saturday on late afternoon and I went out to the back porch to get a meal from the freezer. I tripped and fell. I could move but I couldn't get my balance to get up.

"I didn't feel any pain as I lay there. I remember feeling cold and I was asking myself what others would do to keep warm. So I got some newspaper and covered myself in it to stay warm.

"Nobody could hear me because of the double glazing. Luckily my daughter in law paid an unexpected visit. I don't know what would have happened if she hadn't. I felt so relieved."

The woman suffered severe bruising and had a spell in hospital before being discharged. Her recuperation at home was aided by the reablement team over a six period who helped with her rehabilitation and a return to normal life.

The woman added: "I couldn't fault the care I have received from the hospital and the council who have helped me rehabilitate at home. Nothing was too much for the women who helped me; they were so pleasant to me.

"They were helping me to do more for myself. I am so determined to get out of the house and get back to my old self. My hips are a bit sore but I will get there. I am very cautious around the house.

"Other people who find themselves in this situation will get wonderful care. If they are strong they will overcome their problems and be able to get back home."

Cllr Paul Dolan, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: "One of the Council's key ambitions is to support older people to remain as independent as possible. We see this being one of the key services to assist us in achieving this. The council has invested an additional £750,000 in these services.

"The council has a long history of working with and supporting the local voluntary and community sector. This service will strengthen this relationship by giving a longer funding period of three years, giving the sector increased stability.

"Our new way of recording activity and outcomes will give us much more information on how and who are using the services and to understand demand and service gaps." The Reablement Service is among the services being reviewed as part of the West Cheshire offer, which is looking at even greater ways to encourage and maintain people's independence in the long term. 

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