Extended transitional care to benefit elderly patients

More transition places will be available for elderly people, helping them regain health and independence after hospital discharge.

Federal ageing minister Justine Elliot has announced 228 fully-funded transition places, which would benefit up to 1,700 elderly Australians a year.

The Federal Government committed almost $300 million over four years to the program, aiming to increase the capacity to 4,000 places by mid-2012.

“Older Australians, after being in hospital, want to return to their homes rather than going to a nursing home prematurely,” Mrs Elliot said.

“This is about making sure that older Australians retain their independence and ensuring their quality of life.”
The program will provide a range of low intensity therapy services, including physiotherapy, dietetics and podiatry, as well as nursing support and personal care services.

The initiative is based on a study by the Flinders University, which found older people who received transition care after hospital discharge had fewer re-admissions to hospital and were less likely to move into nursing homes.

The service will be available around the country, with an increase in care provision in high growth areas such as the coastal regions of NSW and Queensland.

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