9: Better care, better work? Reablement in Danish home care and the implications for care workers

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Reablement is introduced with the aim of improving functioning in daily activities for older people, but also has implications for care workers in changing the aim and tasks of the work. Using Danish reablement as a case, this chapter looks into how reablement affects care work.

It is based on qualitative interviews with reablement care workers in two local settings in Denmark in order to unfold their experiences of how reablement has changed their approach to their work and their understanding of quality of care. It also applies representative and national survey data among Danish care workers in order to understand the further implications for the attractiveness of working in the sector.

Results show that the care workers find it attractive to work with reablement. Reablement appears to provide care workers with more professional autonomy and flexibility in the planning of their daily work while they also receive more support and attention from managers. The care workers find that the introduction of reablement enables them to better meet the clients’ individual needs and preferences. The new motivational approaches and working as change facilitators encouraging clients towards achieving independence is found meaningful and professionally rewarding by the care workers. The attractiveness of working with reablement means that they are less likely to want to quit their job.

The results are important, since there is otherwise a high turnover in the home care workforce, and it is difficult to recruit young people to the sector.

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Reablement in Long-Term Care for Older People
International Perspectives and Future Directions