How our free ‘reablement’ support kept Oliver and Patrick independent

We offer free, top-rated “reablement” support to enable residents to keep living in their own home.

Image 1

Fulham resident Oliver Larkin (pictured left) at home in his kitchen with his reablement carers

Hammersmith & Fulham is not just the only council in the country to provide free care at home. We also offer free, top-rated ‘reablement’ support to enable residents to keep living in their own home and stay as independent as possible. This includes helping people to recover after time in hospital.

The key to what we do – and the reason why H&F’s reablement support has been rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission twice in a row – lies in making it personal.

This means designing up to six weeks of truly personalised care around people’s individual needs when their health or ability to function changes, such as after an operation.

“We believe in doing things with residents, not to them” said Cllr Coleman, H&F Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care. “Focusing on individual needs ensures that the extra reablement support we give genuinely helps people get back to living independently.”

This support helps restore people’s confidence in undertaking everyday activities like cooking, washing, dressing, moving about the home and going out and about. Occupational therapists and physiotherapists give specialist advice on how to manage daily routines.

Getting Oliver back on his feet

Fulham resident Oliver Larkin, 64, who has lived in the borough for more than 30 years, has received home care from H&F’s reablement team twice in the last eight years.

A retired scaffolder who ran his own business and worked all over the borough, Oliver originally received reablement support after a 20-foot fall at work ended his career.

“I was standing on a roof, and it collapsed. The joists weren’t in properly and I fell two stories, everything landed on me. I did my back, my arms, my legs. A sheet of plywood fell over my head and saved me,” said Oliver.

“Since then, I’ve been in and out of hospitals. I can’t work any more either. My arms and legs were my living.”

He is currently awaiting another operation on his legs, but the pandemic means this has been repeatedly postponed.

Oliver was recently referred to H&F by the hospital for a further week of reablement support as he had been struggling (“Sometimes my legs give up altogether”) and stopped eating properly.

He initially received three visits a day from the reablement team to ensure he got back into a healthy routine.

“They get you back into a routine where you can look after yourself”, he says. “They ask you what you want for breakfast, get you a cup of tea and something to eat and then, if there’s anything they can help you with, they do.”

The team also shopped for food as Oliver was not able to walk. This was in addition to the support his sister was providing. “It’s the everyday things you’re always forgetting, the essentials, but it’s no problem at all, they always ask if you need something from the shops.”

After a week of care, Oliver was back on his feet.

He said, “When I was getting better, I said to the lady, ‘I don’t need the evenings now, other people need this more than me’, and then it dropped down to the mornings, and then I said, ‘No, I’m in the routine now, I can do my own breakfast’.”

“They’re great people, and I really appreciate them. I’m in a routine of eating now. My legs will never be all right, but they’re better”.

Keeping Patrick walking

Patrick Duggan, 82, has lived in Fulham for more than 40 years. A keen walker who enjoys his independence, he recently had reablement support after a hip replacement. He also has problems with his knees.

“A friend of mine organised the care and at first I didn’t really want it because I’m pretty independent and there must have been people worse off than me” said Patrick, “But it was really helpful.”

The reablement team supported Patrick for five weeks, starting with twice daily visits and then coming twice weekly as he achieved his goals.

“I’d never heard of the service before, but I was pleased with the help and it’s all free! The ladies were extremely kind and helpful, always cheerful and treated me with respect,” said Patrick.

“I would highly recommend them; I think they’re very useful and a great addition for people who really need the support.”

Patrick now says he doesn’t need further support as he feels he has recovered enough to get back into his usual routine.

“I’m walking all right. I’m not going as mad as I used to, but I do walk every day. I’m hoping to get my knees fixed next.”

Outstanding care – for free

H&F is the only council to offer free home care since we abolished all charges in 2014.

H&F’s reablement team was recently rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which regulates care nationally.

This is the second time in a row the team has been rated Outstanding by the CQC, meaning that their quality of service has remained exceptional over the past four years.

If you’d like to organise some home support for yourself or a friend, visit our ‘Help at home’ page for more information.

Want to read more news stories like this? Subscribe to our weekly e-news bulletin.

Translate this website