Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

New 'REACT' service to promote independence for the vulnerable

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

A new team to support older people to live independently at home started work in Hampshire this week, providing short term care to help people regain confidence and learn ways to make their daily life tasks easier.

Hampshire County Council's Reablement and Assessment of Care Team (REACT) service is being delivered across the county by its community response team and six private providers.

The service is one way the Council is transforming adult social care to better meet the needs of an ageing population and free up resources to meet the increased demand for social care and support for those with the greatest need.

The team steps in when people are referred to social services because they need support to return home after a spell in hospital or are experiencing a change to their circumstances or care needs and require help to remain independent in their own homes. The aim is that through interventions such as exercises to improve mobility and help to manage their own personal care such as showering, people will be able to live their lives independently rather than need a long term package of care, an increase to their care package or to go into residential care.

The new service builds on the success of the six weeks reablement already provided by the Community Response Team to help people leaving hospital get back on their feet. A pilot of the service saw more than 50 per cent of people receiving support from REACT needing no longer term care.

Roy from Winchester received six weeks reablement on leaving hospital after having a stroke. He said: "You need that one step on the ladder to get you going. If they give you that one step and train you, you can work your way back up and get your freedom back. You are getting support inside and outside to get you back to normality. After their service came to an end I did have the confidence to go out and walk on my own. At the end of the day you are back on your feet and you've got your independence back."

Cllr Liz Fairhurst, Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health said "Reablement helps people learn or re-learn those skills and coping mechanisms for daily living lost through a deterioration in health. Central to this service is supporting people to regain their physical wellbeing and independence but also helping them to rebuild their confidence and motivation, improving their mental and emotional wellbeing.

"REACT is part of our wider work to transform adult social care to better meet the needs of an ageing population. We know that most people want to live as independently as possible, for as long as possible, in a home of their own, which is why we are investing in services like REACT and telecare and the development of Extra Care Assisted Living. These services not only improve the quality of life for the people accessing them but are also more cost effective, which helps to free up resources to meet the increased demand for social care and to support those with the greatest or most complex need."

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