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Ask our practitioner: an essential reablement assessment tool

Rosie Goy

By Rosie Goy

Occupational Therapist at Just Checking

As most of us working within health and social care know, providing the right support in the six-week reablement period after an individual has suffered from an illness or injury is essential to their long-term recovery.

Part of this process involves continual assessment of the individual’s capabilities, which helps us to identify the extent of care and therapy required.

Yet completing objective assessments can be extremely challenging. I’ve often experienced situations where individuals have misreported their experiences in completing daily tasks due to a desire to maintain their independence, while in other instances a lack of confidence may have caused an inaccurate view of their own abilities.

Observations can provide some insight; however, the pressure of being watched while completing tasks in unnatural conditions can have a significant effect on the individual’s performance. In addition, a true understanding of a person’s daily progress takes hours of observation, something most practitioners sadly don’t have time for.

This is where the new Daily Living System acts as a unique tool for completing objective assessments for reablement cases. Motion sensors give us an overview of the individual’s movements around the house, while new activity sensors allow us to measure their ability to complete the tasks essential to their daily routine. Combined with our understanding of the individual’s situation, this provides a means to complete proportionate, evidence-based assessments.

How does it work?

The Daily Living System is simple to setup and use. A plug-in hub is placed in a quiet area of the house; this uses mobile signal and does not require internet access. Motion sensors are placed in rooms and on door frames; no cameras or microphones are used throughout the system. The new activity sensors are placed on household items which are used for daily tasks, e.g. the kettle, toaster, fridge and butter. The information from these sensors is fed back to the Just Checking app in the form of easy-to-read activity charts.

After consulting with the individual, practitioners can then setup sequences based on their normal activity. For example, a sequence may be recorded if the individual used the toaster, the fridge and the butter over a 10-minute time frame. This could be shown on the chart as ‘Making toast’. In a similar manner, sensors placed on the shower, soap and towel rail could be used to set up a sequence for ‘Taking a Shower’. It only takes a couple of minutes to set up or edit these sequences, allowing practitioners to ensure they are tailored to the individual.

Combined with an overview of household movements, these sequences provide an incredible insight into the individual’s capabilities, using only discrete movement sensors that support the Mental Capacity Act by using the least obtrusive observation methods. This allows us to provide the tailored care essential to the individual’s recovery.

Mrs Baker’s Case

mrs-bowlerAn example of when the Daily Living System has acted as an essential reablement assessment tool is the case of Mrs Baker.

Mrs Baker returned to her home from hospital following a fractured hip. Installing the system reassured her family she was able to settle back into a routine, as well as flag up an issue she was having getting undressed for daytime bathroom visits. Following a discussion between practitioners and Mrs Baker, assistive aids were installed and a sequence was set up to track their usage. The charts showed that on four out of six bathroom visits all aids were used, and Mrs Baker later stated that she felt these aids and the related practitioner support was essential to her recovery.

Practitioners noted that without Just Checking, this important issue may not have been raised. By understanding Mrs Baker’s needs, they were able to promptly put in place beneficial measures for her recovery process.

In short, the Daily Living System can save time and help ensure that individuals get the support they need.

Find out more about using the Daily Living System for reablement assessments

Find out more about the Daily Living System here, or if you would like to find out more about using Just Checking as a reablement assessment tool, please contact our team who will be happy to provide support and advice.

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