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Sometimes, you just need a bit of help to get back on your feet. We call this 'reablement'.

If you have had an illness, accident, just come home from hospital, or are becoming frail, you might find it difficult to look after yourself.

Reablement is a short period of intensive support in your home. We will work with you to help you regain old skills, or develop new ones. In most cases, this is all you need to regain your independence and be able to carry on living in your own home

Who is eligible?

The service is available to all adults in Dorset and Poole, and adults over 65 years old in Bournemouth.

Reablement is free of charge provided that:

  • we think reablement can help
  • you are not already receiving care services
  • you are finding it difficult to manage your personal care or daily living needs due to frailty, following an illness or fall, or after a stay in hospital

How reablement works

Our staff will visit you at home to find out what you want to be able to do and agree when help is needed. We will then arrange support in your home to help you regain confidence and ability in carrying out daily living tasks, such as:

  • dressing and getting into and out of bed
  • washing and shaving
  • managing the toilet
  • eating and drinking

The amount of help needed varies with each person and their circumstances. You might need only a few visits a week or several visits a day. Over a period of up to several weeks, the amount of help you need should reduce quickly, as your confidence and ability improve.

After reablement

At the end of a period of reablement, most people can live independently at home. However, if you're not fully independent or you need longer-term care and support, we will tell you how much more help we think you need. We will also tell you how much this might cost and whether we will pay something towards that cost.

How to get help

Our social care teams may offer reablement before you are discharged from hospital.

Contact us about reablement

Organisations who can help

Your local Age UK North, South & West Dorset and other voluntary organisations may offer ‘home from hospital support’ on a free or paid-for basis. These services may help to get your home ready for your return and assist with non-medical tasks such as shopping and light housework.

Age UK North, South & West Dorset offer advice and support and helpful free fact sheets including fact sheet regarding Hospital Discharge. You may only need help with domestic tasks for a few weeks while you recover, especially if you live alone. Contact them for more information 0800 678 1602.

British Red Cross Society offers a 'Get support at home following return from hospital service'. If you're returning from hospital, we make sure you have everything you need for your first 24 to 72 hours back at home. We may then provide up to 12 weeks of support depending on the level of help you need. Tel: 0344 871 11 11

NHS website Government website that provides information on health conditions and a guide to care and support when leaving hospital.

Royal Voluntary Service Provides services for older people through the activities of its volunteers. Telephone 0330 555 0310

Bathing Clinics

Bathing Clinics are designed to be a route into Occupational Therapy assessment for bathing and in the East of the county for equipment.

Weymouth & Portland residents can attend the bathing clinic in Dorchester at the Mi-Life Greenwood Centre.

Level Access Shower (Wet Room)

At the point of referral to our service, if appropriate, the person is invited to be assessed at the Bathing Clinic.  This is held fortnightly at the Mi-Life Greenwood Centre in Dorchester. 

If the person cannot attend the Bathing Clinic due to their mobility or health restrictions, then they are added to our waiting list.  This is currently approximately 12 weeks, and it can be longer if more urgent referrals are received. 

Up until April this year, £5000 of funding was available for people applying for a Disabled Facilities Grant, although from April 2019, this funding was no longer available.  This means that any person who reaches this stage of the assessment has to have a financial assessment. 

British Red Cross offers a 'support at home service for patients following a stay in hospital'.  The aim of the service is to provide short-term support to smooth the process of settling back into a normal routine at home and to enable people to regain their confidence and independence.  The service is subject to staff and volunteers' availability and cannot be guaranteed.

Dorset Healthcare Wheelchair Services 

Referrals to wheelchair services are completed by the GP.

There are 2 centres in Dorset

  • Dorchester: 01305 261210
  • St Leonards: 01202 892874

Independent Age

A range of free information leaflets available and also offer a friendship service where older people can receive visits or telephone calls. 

  • Money
  • Housing Options
  • Health
  • Personal Life
  • Support & Care
  • Future Planning

UK Home Care Association The professional association of home care providers from the independent, voluntary, not-for-profit and statutory sectors. Telephone 020 8661 8188