Re-Ablement Services - Dorothy's story

​The Re-Ablement Team is one of a number of services Belfast Trust provides to help people be more independent in their own home and reduce hospital stays. Read one woman’s story of how this service helped her back to full independent living.

Dorothy Crockard was referred to re-ablement after a period in hospital following a fall at home from which she sustained a fracture to her lower back.

Prior to the fall Dorothy lived in her home, was a very independent lady who enjoyed social outings and activities with her family and friends.

When discharged from hospital Dorothy required assistance with mobility, personal care and meal preparation. A temporary re-ablement support worker package was set up to facilitate her returning home with one support worker calling four times daily, 7 days a week.

A comprehensive Re-ablement Occupational Therapy assessment was completed when Dorothy returned home, establishing her functional level of ability with her activities of daily living in her own home environment and identifying any equipment needs she had.

A main goal for Dorothy was to be able to independently attend to her personal care needs at night time and get in/out of bed, so that she could continue with her normal night time routine and not have to rely on the support workers assisting her to bed at a specific time. Through daily practice of transfers and dressing practice with Re-ablement Support workers Dorothy was able to achieve this goal.

As Dorothy began achieving the goals set between her and the OT’s her confidence improved and the time required and frequency of calls from the support workers was reduced. For Dorothy, without the continuous OT functional assessments and intervention from the Re-ablement support workers her functional level of independence would have been significantly reduced.

Grateful to the team and for the excellent service delivered, Dorothy said: “I am so thankful for all of the support the team have given me. Six weeks ago I thought I had lost all of my independence and now I am able to return to doing the things I enjoy doing and could not have done it without them."

The support staff were very friendly and helpful. They encouraged me to try things, to do things that I thought I maybe would never be able to do again. It is great to be able to get into bed myself again, without support, in a safe way.

Every day I’m doing a little bit more for myself and beginning to get out and about more again, which is great!”