Experiences of home-care workers with the 'Stay Active at Home' programme targeting reablement of community-living older adults: An exploratory study

Rowan G M Smeets, Gertrudis I J M Kempen, G A Rixt Zijlstra, Erik van Rossum, Janneke M de Man-van Ginkel, Whitney A G Hanssen, Silke F Metzelthin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


To face the challenges of an ageing population, many Western countries nowadays stimulate an ageing in place policy to empower older adults to grow old in their own homes with the highest degree of self-reliance. However, many community-living older adults experience limitations in (instrumental) activities of daily living ((I)ADLs), which may result in a need for home-care services. Unfortunately, home-care workers often provide support by taking over tasks, as they are used to doing things for older adults rather than with them, which undermines their possibilities to maintain their self-care capabilities. In contrast, reablement focuses on capabilities and opportunities of older adults, rather than on disease and dependency. Consequently, older adults are stimulated to be as active as possible during daily and physical activities. The 'Stay Active at Home' programme was designed to train home-care workers to apply reablement in practice. To explore the experiences of home-care workers with this programme an exploratory study was conducting in the Netherlands, between April and July, 2017. In total, 20 participants were interviewed: nine nurses (including a district nurse), 10 domestic support workers and the manager of the domestic support workers. The semi-structured interviews focused on the experienced improvements with regard to knowledge, skills, self-efficacy and social support. Furthermore, the most and least appreciated programme components were identified. The study has shown that home-care workers perceived the programme as useful to apply reablement. However, they also need more support with mastering particular skills and dealing with challenging situations. Future implementation of the 'Stay Active at Home' programme can potentially benefit from small adaptions. Furthermore, future research is needed to examine whether the programme leads to more (cost-) effective home care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-299
Number of pages9
JournalHealth & Social Care in the Community
Issue number1
Early online date6 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


  • activities of daily living
  • aged
  • home care
  • nursing
  • reablement
  • restorative care


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