Transition program helps older Aussies go home after hospital

By on the Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Older people recently discharged from hospital are more than 50 per cent likely to return to the community after receiving care through the Government’s Transition Care Program (TCP), a recent report shows.

Conducted by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), the report analyses the activities of the TCP since its introduction in 2005 through till June last year.

During that time, over 80 thousand Australians have received short-term care through the program. More than half of the selected group have returned to live in the community.

Jointly funded by the state and territory governments and the Australian Government, the TCP works much like a home or community care plan, prepared uniquely for each individual to suit their specific needs.

Its primary purpose is to prevent the premature entry to residential aged care for older Australians discharged from hospital.

AIHW spokesperson Dr Pamela Kinnear said older people often leave hospital with a decline in functioning, which can be cognitive, physical or psychosocial in nature.

“Care recipients may have been quite immobile for a while, so it is not uncommon for their general functioning to decline,” Dr Kinnear said.

To help get back on track, some people may require temporary nursing support, while others may demand the attention of a general practitioner.

“The program aims to improve care recipients’ level of functioning so they maintain all the capacities they need to live independently,” Dr Kinnear said.