Key takeaways

  • The Transition Care Community (TCC) program gives short-term support to older people so they can continue their recovery after leaving hospital.
  • While some people go into temporary accommodation during the transition, many return home to work with the Brightwater support team.

Making the most of transitional care

For more than 40 years, Ian Smith has been playing lawn bowls, a pursuit that not only satisfies his competitive spirit but also gives him a sense of achievement. He was introduced to the sport while umpiring cricket at the WACA, and since then he has done extremely well in individual and team competitions.

“I once won the state singles championship for third division. I am pretty competitive,” he said. “The club atmosphere is also a big part of the enjoyment - you meet so many people.”

But in the year he turned 80, Ian faced a series of health issues that put a halt to his lawn bowls outings, and left him wondering if he would ever return to the game that meant so much to him.

Persistent respiratory problems led to increasingly low energy levels and, subsequently, difficulties with balance for Ian. He was in and out of hospital several times over the year, with his latest stint requiring a two-week rehabilitation period. It was during this time he was introduced to Brightwater At Home’s Transition Care Community (TCC) program, which offers therapy and support services within the comfort of your own home.

“I couldn't speak more highly of the program. It's been brilliant,” said Ian.

Working together to achieve the goal

Subsidised by the state and federal governments, the TCC program gives short-term support to older people so they can continue their recovery after leaving hospital.

While some people go into temporary accommodation during the transition, many, like Ian, return home to work with the Brightwater support team on a program tailored to their individual recovery objectives.

Ian’s number one goal was to return to the bowling green.

Less than two months later he got there, as his occupational therapist, Margarita Nicerio proudly reported.

“Today, we played a quiet game on the green in Ian’s retirement village. He did so well and was very proud of himself. I wish you were all there to see his smile!”

It was, says Ian, just a short visit so Margarita could assess his movements and plan a targeted approach to get him playing again. But it was a sign his hard work was paying off.

“Improvements have come mainly through the physiotherapy exercise, which I do every day. I might occasionally miss one day but I do it pretty much every day. The physio comes twice a week and on the other days I do them myself,” he said. “I started to feel the benefit in a very short time and that feeling just continued as I progressed with the exercises.”

The lure of the bowling green gave Ian a tangible goal for his recovery, which can be key to the success of the TCC program.

“Our clients love what we're able to do in assisting them to achieve their goals and get back to what they want to do. They appreciate that our coordinators are really receptive and supportive,” says Brightwater at Home Service Leader, Chloe Jones.

For Ian, the added benefit has been regaining his strength for everyday tasks around the home as well.

“I was always very keen to get back to being totally independent, and I'm very close now to being totally independent again, which is great,” he said.

If you would like to know more about Brightwater At Home’s Transition Care Community (TCC) program, give us a call on 1300 223 968 or email [email protected].

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