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The Swedish Experience of Reablement

In Sweden, municipalities have implemented reablement since 2000. Research, however, has been scarce including some R&D reports (grey literature) and a few scientific publications. In addition, each municipality has developed reablement and there has been no national co-ordination regarding definitions or how reablement should be organized or implemented. Thus, there is likely significant variation regarding methods, target groups and which professionals are involved and how these collaborate in a team context. Over the last years (approx. since 2015) research activities have been initiated by research groups in Luleå, Östersund/Umeå, Eskilstuna, Stockholm and Lund.

Ongoing projects
Social participation for older adults – with support from digital solutions
Social participation is an important factor in healthy aging. As older people’s opportunities and conditions for being active change, they may need support for continued activity or new ways of being active. Reablement has so far focused much on primary needs in the home. If focus is directed towards including social contacts, participation in the community and activities outside-home, we can achieve even better effects. Digital solutions have proven to be a means of strengthening the commitment and participation of the elderly and reducing experiences of loneliness and isolation and have been shown to support caregivers. However, previous research also shows absents of effects due to the fact that digital solutions do not meet the needs of older people and that there are doubts and fears associated with the use of digital solutions. This project aims to explore how reablement incorporating digital solutions can support social participation for older people.
Gunilla Isaksson, Phd, professor; Anneli Nyman, Phd, senior lecture; Ellinor Larsson, Phd; Maria Löfgren, Phd student
Luleå University of Technology
Department of Health sciences, the Division of Health and Rehabilitation

Reablement in Swedish municipalities
In 2017, a survey was conducted in 43 Swedish municipalities to explore the role of occupational therapists and physiotherapists and focus of interventions, team collaboration and duration. Parallel to the survey, a reablement program has been developed in one municipality and a feasibility study has been conducted.
Magnus Zingmark, Phd, Maria Haak, Associate professor.
Umeå University, Departement for Epidemiology and Global Health