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  • Author or Editor: Lea Graff x
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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 has been positioned as a superior care ideal distinct from home care. Drawing on cross-national ethnographic data, this article instead demonstrates how the continuity and interdependency between reablement and conventional home care is more significant than suggested by policy rhetoric. Findings highlight the continuities and overlaps between activating and compensatory care, for example, how compensatory care might take the form of psychosocial reablement, activating and enabling even the frailest clients to age in place. The article concludes by pointing to the dangers of a narrow conception of reablement and argues for the benefits of more focused attention on clients’ psychosocial well-being.

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Numerous countries have been developing a reablement approach for several years. However, the stage of implementation, as well as the scaling up, differs across each country. The aim of this chapter is to consider key issues relating to the implementation of reablement to determine the shared issues for development, refinement, and spread. The chapter is informed by i-PAHRIS and Context and Implementation of Complex Interventions (CICI) implementation frameworks. Issues relating to the history and current status of reablement, target groups, characteristics, and key contextual factors at a participant, local, and national level are considered across New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands. This allows for consideration of the key common features in the composition of reablement across the five countries/regions together with an illustration of differences in structuring reablement.

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