Plan to help elderly get back home

A PILOT program will be launched on the Sunshine Coast to help elderly hospital patients get back into their own homes.

The program, announced by Sunshine Coast Medicare Local and home-care services agency KinCare, aims to reduce the number of elderly patients readmitted to hospital.

Sunshine Coast Medicare Local chief executive officer Ian Landreth said consultation with the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service had revealed an alarming number of elderly patients were readmitted to hospital within 28 days of discharge.

"We developed this program to identify at-risk patients before discharge from hospital, and to then provide additional care package to ensure they are well-supported in their home or aged-care facility," Mr Landreth said.

KinCare will provide in-home nursing care, personal care, physiotherapy and occupational therapy.

It will also ensure that medical information is transferred between hospitals, general practitioners and allied health professionals, and co-ordinate other services, such as Meals on Wheels.

The 12-month pilot program in the Sunshine Coast and Gympie region will begin soon.

Helen Wilson, KinCare's general manager, business development and research, said the program aimed to help older people

re-establish themselves at home through early identification of problems, timely support and enhanced coordination between services.

"Sometimes a little extra help at the right time can make all the difference," Ms Wilson said.



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