Older Queenslanders will be supported to receive healthcare in their homes rather than going to hospital, giving them better health outcomes and quality of life thanks to a $20 million investment from the Palaszczuk Government.
Health Minister Steven Miles said the program focuses on what matters most to older Queenslanders.
“That is why the funding will support improvements in three key areas.
“Additional support services – for example clinicians with specialist geriatric skills will visit residential aged care facilities – to increase residents choices about where they receive care and to improve the safety and quality of care provided.
“When they do need to go to an Emergency Departments, the staff will be trained in early identification of care needs, specialist geriatric assessments in the ED and fast tracking patients home or admitted to hospital.
“And expansion of models of care like ‘Eat, walk and engage’ to reduce complications like delirium and deconditioning in hospital and to increase discharge back to your home.
“This funding will help us continue to deliver high quality care as Queensland’s population grows and ages.”
An additional $5 million one off payment will also deliver expanded mobile X-Ray services.
“In Queensland we have a growing and ageing population. Over the next ten years, it is expected that the number of people aged 65 years and older will increase by 68 per cent,” Mr Miles said.
“The more elderly Queenslanders we can keep out of hospital and care for in the community or discharge and get them home quickly, the better.
“We know a third of Queenslanders over 80 years old who are admitted to hospitals are discharged with reduced mobility.
“And a third of Queenslanders over 80 years old who are admitted experience delirium.
“Just 10 days in a hospital bed can lead to the equivalent of 10 years ageing in the muscles of people over 80.
“Keeping elderly Queenslanders out of hospital where possible, frees up emergency and hospital and older patients are not unnecessarily coming into an unfamiliar and often stressful environment.”
Mr Miles said an animation was also unveiled today for older Queenslanders and their families.
“The animation was developed to show the new patient journey options older Queenslanders will benefit from under the new model of care,” Mr Miles said.
“It gives older Queenslanders and their families or carers a simplified overview on their treatment pathways under the new strategy.”