Transition from hospital to home during COVID-19: A case report from an Australian transitional care program
Aim and Background: With the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, consideration for vulnerable groups, including our ageing population has been of great concern. Social isolation has been recommended to protect older adults with chronic diseases and reduce the spread of the virus, as well as to prevent healthcare services becoming overwhelmed. Yet social isolation presents its own health risks.
Methods: In this paper, we provide commentary on the lived experience of returning home from hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic. This case report details the experience of an 83-year-old female, who was living and mobilising independently in her own home, prior to hospital admission following a fall and resultant head injury.
Results: The participant returned home during the COVID-19 pandemic with a community transition care program which included assistance with cleaning tasks, shopping, and physiotherapy over a 45-day period.
Conclusions: COVID-19 has illuminated the issue of social isolation and increased awareness of its negative health effects at a global level. As society eases restrictions and returns to a new ‘normal’, many older adults will remain socially isolated. Ongoing allied health intervention is required to ensure quality of life through the latter years and to support older adults through periods of social distancing.
Keywords: transition care; COVID-19, social isolation, community participation
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