Staff experiences of a reablement approach to care for older people in a regional Australian community: A qualitative study.


Maxwell H(1), Bramble M(2), Prior SJ(3), Heath A(4), Reeves NS(3), Marlow A(5), Campbell S(5), Doherty DJ(6).
Author information:
(1)School of Health Sciences, University of Tasmania, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
(2)School of Nursing, Midwifery, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, NSW, Australia.
(3)School of Medicine, University of Tasmania, Burnie, Tas, Australia.
(4)University College, University of Tasmania, Burnie, Tas, Australia.
(5)School of Nursing, University of Tasmania, Newnham, Tas, Australia.
(6)Family Based Care Tasmania, Burnie, Tas, Australia.


Reablement is described as a person-centred, goal-directed intervention with a view to regain, maintain or improve the independence of older clients. Although evidence to support the use of reablement as a multidisciplinary, home-based intervention for community-dwelling older adults is increasing, there is limited knowledge about what it means for care staff who provide client-based services. This study, which was nested in a larger program evaluation, used a descriptive qualitative approach to explore direct care staff and care coordinator experiences of translating a reablement training program into practice for older people in a regional Australian community. Two months after the training program four focus groups were conducted with 13 care coordinators to assimilate staff experiences with development of care plans, systems, processes and practices of reablement. In addition, four direct care staff took part in individual interviews, which centred on eliciting their experience using the reablement approach with clients. Results from the care coordinator focus groups and the direct care staff interviews highlight the importance of reablement staff training and the involvement of staff in the development and delivery of a reablement approach to client-centred care. A number of organisational and client-centred challenges such as communication, functional partnerships, staff education and resourcing are also uncovered in this research into the development of a reablement-focused care service in a regional setting. Overall there is support for the dominating discourse around healthy ageing and the policy approach of ageing in place to support wellness.

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