Supporting older people's recovery after illness or injury

Delaying and reducing the need for care and support with earlier diagnosis, intervention and reablement, means that older people and their carers are less dependent on intensive services. When people develop care needs, it is crucial that support is delivered in the most appropriate setting as this enables people to regain their independence.

There is strong evidence that reablement services lead to improved outcomes and value for money across the health and social care sectors. Reablement aims to maximise people's independence and ability to live at home, in order to minimise their need for ongoing support and dependence on public services. It tends to be provided to older people who have just been discharged from hospital or are entering the care system following a crisis.

How successful are reablement services for older people?

Here we are looking at the impact that reablement, intermediate care or rehabilitation services have on older people following a hospital episode. The measure of success is the proportion of people aged 65 and over who are still at home 91 days after discharge from hospital into reablement services. The proportion of older people still at home after 91 days has varied little over time, reaching 82.5% in 2016/17.

Updated December 2017.

How does successful reablement vary by age and sex?

While the proportion of people still living at home 91 days after discharge from hospital is a measure of success for reablement services, it is useful to analyse whether the rates vary by age and sex. Since 2011/12, there have been higher rates of successful reablement for women compared to men. In 2016/17, 83.9% of women aged 65 and over who received a reablement service were still living at home 91 days after discharge, compared to only 80.1% of men. Stratifying by age groups shows that success rates of reablement services fall as age increases. Reablement is least successful in the oldest age group (people aged 85 and over). In 2016/17, 85.7% of people aged 65 to 74 who received a reablement service were still living at home 91 days after discharge, compared to only 80.3% of people aged 85 and over.

Updated December 2017.

What proportion of older people receive reablement services after discharge from hospital?

The proportion of older people (aged 65 and over) who received reablement or rehabilitation services after discharge from hospital has remained relatively steady over time, averaging at around 3%. However, there was a small decrease from 3.3% in 2013/14 to 2.7% in 2016/17. Although not shown here, there has been a rise in the total number of older people discharged from hospitals (and therefore eligible for these services) since 2010/11 and the number of people receiving reablement/rehabilitation services has fluctuated. In 2010/11, 36,610 people received reablement or rehabilitation services compared with 40,212 people in 2016/17.

Updated December 2017.

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