29 November 2022

What is convalescent care?

4 min read

Convalescent Care is a term used to describe the short-term support provided by skilled professionals to individuals who are recovering from an illness, operation, or injury. It is only available to The Deparment of Veterans' Affairs clients who have an approved Gold Card. If you have a veteran White Card, The Department of Veteran Affairs will cover the cost of convalescent care if they paid for the original hospital admission.

The people who may benefit from convalescent care in an aged care residence are individuals who, with support, will recover their full independence in time and will at some point be able to regain their strength and manage without care. Those who need convalescent care are typically recovering from an illness, operation, or injury. Examples of why someone might need convalescent care are:

• Post-surgery recovery
• Hospital discharge after a fall
• Following a stroke
• Acute illness
• Chronic diseases

Where can convalescent care be provided?

Convalescent care can be provided in an approved aged care home, where 24/7 support can be given, public or private hospitals, supported residential services in Victoria and other suitable institutions but cannot be provided in your home. It is usually seen as highly effective as you will have access to equipment, experienced staff and a range of services that are included within the one price. Pricing for added extras such as physiotherapy and speech therapy if available will be explained to you by your social worker.

What type of support is provided?

A comprehensive plan of care and recovery is tailor made for each resident. Whilst every home is different, most will offer the following types of therapy
• Meals and meal preparation
• Companionship
• Administering medication
• Continence Care
• Laundry
• Personal care such as bathing and dressing
• Wound care
• 24/7 Nursing Care
• Specialised equipment

How long does it take to convalesce?

This will depend on the injury or illness from which you are recovering from. Each individual is different, and your care plan will be drawn up accordingly.

What is the difference between convalescent care and rehabilitation?

Convalescent care is primarily recovering centered around recovering your health and strength after a period of illness.

Rehabilitation is the process of rehabilitating to regain function.

How is convalescent organised and accessed?

To access convalescent care, talk to:

• A hospital discharge planner
• Your treating doctor
• A social worker, or
• A nurse
• A social worker will organise an assessment with Dept of veteran affairs and then contact approved care providers in the area.

Things you should know:

• Residential respite care is a different service to convalescent care
• Commonwealth funding for residential respite care cannot be used to pay for convalescent care services.
• DVA will not approve your convalescent care in a residential aged care facility where serious risk to your health, safety and well-being has been identified.

For further reading on costings please click on repayment-calculator, respite care, long term care and our homes.