Extra Support for Older Australians After Hospital Stays
More than 30,000 older Australians each year will receive customised care and support to return to everyday life after a spell in hospital, Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler said today, announcing expansion of the Transition Care Program by 651 places - bringing the total number of transition care places to 4,000.
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The Gillard Government is expanding the Transition Care Program by 651 places, bringing the total number of Transition Care places to 4,000.
“We are delivering on our election commitment to provide 4,000 places for older Australians. When all 4,000 places are fully operational, more than 30,000 people each year will benefit from the program,” Mr Butler said.
“The Transition Care Program provides flexible and customised care and support to older people leaving hospital to return home rather than going to a nursing home prematurely.
“Under the program, older Australians can receive up to 12 weeks of care with a possible extension of six weeks, either in their own home or in a residential setting, following discharge from hospital.
“They can access a package of services that includes personal care, nursing care and low intensity therapy such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and social work.
“The program helps older people improve their independence and functioning while giving them, their families and carers time to think about long term care arrangements, such as entering a community aged care program or residential aged care.”
Mr Butler said today’s release of the report Older people leaving hospital: A statistical overview of the Transition Care Program in 2008-09, by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare confirmed the success of the Transition Care Program.
“The AIHW data shows that functioning improved for nearly three quarters of people completing the Transition Care Program.
“The results for 2009-10 are even better. Of the more than 14,800 people who received transition care, more than 80 per cent have either improved or maintained their functional capacity and more than 50 per cent have been able to return to the community either in community aged care or totally independently.”
The expansion of the Transition Care Program is part of Gillard Government’s commitment to respond to the needs of Australia’s ageing population.
“Since being elected in 2007 the Government has committed more than $293 million to the Transition Care Program as part of a $40 billion investment in aged and community care,” Mr Butler said.
“We recognise Australia is an ageing society and we are putting plans in place now rather than waiting for the problem to overwhelm us.
“No government in Australian history has spent more on aged care and community care.”
For more information, contact Mr Butler’s office 02 6277 7280
BACKGROUNDThe 651 transition care places have been allocated to all states and the Australian Capital Territory.
They will begin to roll out from 1 July 2011 and will be fully operational by June 2012.
|Total places allocated 4th tranche|
The Northern Territory received a total of 13 places in the first and second release of places and is not receiving any allocations as part of the final tranche because it received its total allocation in the first and second releases.
Total operational transition care places—by state or territory as at 1 April 2011.
Existing operational places
Total places operational
Nationally, by mid-2012, when all 4,000 transition care places are fully operational, up to 30,000 older Australians will benefit from the program each year.
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