Over 4,000 older Victorians have accessed the Commonwealth’s transition care program in the past 18 months.

Almost two thirds (65 per cent) of the service users accessed the program in a bed-based residential setting.

A further 23 per cent received transition care in their own homes and 12 per cent received care in both settings.

The transition care program is designed to assist older people following a hospital stay, with a particular focus on preventing premature entry into residential aged care.

Program users receive up to 12 weeks of low–intensity therapy services including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, dietetics, podiatry, speech therapy, nursing support and personal care.

According to data from the Department of Health and Ageing, 78 per cent of transition care recipients in 2007-2008 were able to maintain or improve their functioning.

And 49 per cent of program users in that period were able to return to the community after taking part in the program.

In March the Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot officially created 104 further places for Victoria as part of the second release of 470 places under the four year transition care plan.

The minister has also written to all State and Territory Health Ministers formally offering them the new transition care places.

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