The Impact of a Volunteer-Based Transitional Care Program on the Recovery of Older Adults in Victoria, B.C.

Date

2023-09-19

Authors

Denux, Natalie

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Abstract

This research project consisted of an evaluation of Return to Health, a transitional care program for vulnerable older adults recently discharged from hospital. Return to Health is a 90-day volunteer-based program offered free of charge, where volunteers provide clients with home support services such as grocery shopping, setting up meal plan services, picking up prescriptions, transportation to appointments, companionship, and more. The aim of the project was to determine the impact of the program on the recovery of isolated and frail older adults who have recently had a hospital stay. The methodology of the evaluation consisted of analyzing available data on the program to characterize its service delivery, identify its major successes and challenges, learn from past client stories, and determine the lessons that can be imparted to others who may want to implement the program elsewhere. Furthermore, similar programs and alternative home support services offered in British Columbia were compared to the Return to Health program to determine its role in the healthcare system. The evaluation found that the program is generally very successful in assisting vulnerable older adults to recover at home and provides a much-needed service to low-income clients.

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Keywords

older adults, transitional care, volunteer, post-hospitalization, home support, community

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