The Commonwealth Government has announced that an extra 38 transition care beds will come online in Queensland by the end of January.

These places are the first of 382 fully-funded transition beds for the state over the next four years.

Along with existing transition care beds, this will take the total number of places to 733 by 2012.

It is estimated that each of the beds will be used by up to eight older Australians every year.

Begun under the Howard Government, transition care provides a suite of services – and in some cases, temporary accommodation – to help people return to their homes after a hospital stay.

Services available through the program include low intensity therapy, nursing support and personal care services.

“Transition care places are about making sure that older Australians retain their independence and help ensure their quality of life,” said the Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot.

“It is also about preparing for the challenges of an ageing population and their needs.”

The state and territory governments are the approved providers for transition care and they determine the models adopted in different regions, based on local needs.

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