At Sutherland Food Services we are focused on Wellness and Reablement as part of our service delivery, aiming for better outcomes for people with improved wellness, greater independence and reducing the amount and cost of care.
We are embracing a new approach to community care that has emerged in recent years and continues to gain traction in Australia. The traditional model for community care has a focus on illness and dependence by providing passive support for individuals. The concept of Wellness and Reablement (or Enablement) replaces this with a model of proactive care centred around capacity building, meaning that independence in performing activities of daily living is encouraged and facilitated.
There is an increasing body of evidence that this shift in focus produces more favourable outcomes for consumers with improved wellness, through achieving greater independence, and consequently reducing the amount and cost of care. This is a true win-win situation, where we can achieve better client outcomes at a reduced financial cost.
What is Wellness?
Wellness is the optimisation of a person’s physical and mental health and well-being. We understand that an individual, despite increasing frailty and decreasing health, has the capacity to improve their physical, social and emotional well-being. This is achieved through a flexible and tailored approach to the delivery of care, taking into account the individual’s unique set of circumstances and goals.
“A state of physical, mental and social wellness; a way of life which equips the individual to realise the full potential of their capabilities and to overcome and compensate for weakness.”
– Well-being, as described by the World Health Organisation.
What is Enablement?
Reablement is closely linked, but distinct from wellness. It is the process of helping people regain, or re-learn, skills required for daily living which have been lost due to deteriorating health or advancing frailty. It is distinct from addressing specific health care issues.
Reablement programs are led by Allied Health professionals and are time-limited (6-12 weeks) with specific goals set around activities required for daily living. The focus is on engaging individuals in a program designed to improve their ability to perform specific activities of daily living, and minimise the amount of care required for these activities. For example, making a cup of tea, dressing themselves or independent showering.
Benefits to the Individual
- Increased feelings of independence, empowerment and autonomy in managing their health and abilities.
- Improved physical and emotional well-being.
- Improving their ability to self-care and to perform everyday activities of daily living.
- Reducing the need for ongoing home care services.
- Reducing the risk of falls and fall-related injuries.
- Avoiding hospital admission for reasons directly addressed by this program, for example, falls, medication or chronic disease mismanagement.
A study on Reablement programs in the UK found:
- 53-68% of people left the Reablement program not requiring any immediate homecare
- 36-48% of that group still required no homecare at 2 years
- 34-54% had maintained or reduced their levels of care 2 years after Reablement.
Consumers on a Reablement program had:
- 71% had less difficulties with activities associated with daily living
- 33% no longer needed ongoing care services
- 39% needed a lower level of service.
In keeping with this evidence-based best practice, Sutherland Food Services is embracing Wellness and Reablement as part of our service delivery.