Information for the public

Intermediate care: support to get your independence back

When people have been ill or in hospital they may need support for a short time to help them recover and get their independence back. This support is called intermediate care (or ‘reablement’). Intermediate care is a rehabilitation service in which professionals such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists and nurses help people carry out daily activities for themselves, like washing and dressing, making meals or doing things they enjoy. Intermediate care can keep people, especially older people, from going into hospital unless they really need to. It can also make sure that when people have been in hospital, their transfer home is as smooth and speedy as possible. The aim is to keep people living at home independently for as long as they can.

The type of support available can vary in different areas. We want this guideline to make a difference by making sure:

  • everyone who needs intermediate care is offered it – no matter where you live or whether you have a long-term condition, like dementia, arthritis or diabetes
  • your intermediate care team sees you quickly to help you decide a treatment plan to build your independence and confidence so that you can get on with your life
  • that if you need ongoing support when the service ends, your intermediate care team will help you put this in place.

Making decisions

To help you make decisions, professionals should give you clear information, talk with you about your options and listen carefully to your views and concerns. Think about:

  • What matters most to you – what do you want to be able to do? What do you hope to get out of intermediate care?
  • How would you like your family, friends or carers to be involved in this?
  • What help might you need when the service finishes?

It is important that you tell your professional if you have difficulty understanding or remembering the information they give you.

Read more about making decisions.

Where can I find out more?

The organisations below can give you more advice and support.

NICE is not responsible for the content of these websites.

We wrote this guideline with people who have had intermediate care (or their family or carers) as well as the staff who provide it. All the decisions are based on the best research available.

ISBN 978-1-4731-2687-9

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