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Role and principles of reablement


This social care institute for excellence briefing is an overview of the role and principles of reablement in the social care sector. It is designed for those working in reablement or commissioning it, but may also be useful to carers and people receiving reablement.

As well as describing what the roles and principles of reablement are and the different models used to deliver it, the briefing illustrates the shift from traditional home care towards personalised, outcome-focused care and describes the principles of effective reablement.

Reablement is a strengths-based, person-centred approach that promotes and maximises independence and wellbeing. It aims to ensure positive change using user-defined goals and is designed to enable people to gain, or regain, their confidence, ability, and necessary skills to live as independently as possible, especially after an illness, deterioration in health or injury.

Key messages


  • leads to improved health and wellbeing
  • uses a strengths-based, person-centred approach
  • may be appropriate to support timely discharge from hospital or enable an individual to remain living at home if, due to illness or disability, they have increasing difficulty with daily life activities
  • is non-means-tested, where the person will qualify for reablement if they meet the eligibility criteria, regardless of income or capital
  • is time limited, where short-term support is provided, usually for up to six weeks, but possibly for a shorter period depending on progress
  • focus should be on achieving outcomes rather than completing care tasks
  • goals or outcomes should have meaning to the individual and be aimed at promoting wellbeing, autonomy, independence and choice
  • plan should be determined by both the long- and short-term outcomes the person has identified
  • aims to help reduce or eliminate the need for future care services.