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Time to Get Active

Woy Woy Public Hospital
Project Added:
15 July 2015
Last updated:
29 July 2015

Time to Get Active

Improving patient activity levels at Woy Woy Transitional Care Unit


The group activity program was expanded and used evidence based practice to inform the content and structure of the program. The new program includes tai chi and yoga1,2, social and cognitive stimulus activities including  afternoon tea, an outdoor/community access group, an indoor walking group, a standing exercise group and interactive games3


The Transitional Care Unit’s (TCU) aim is to maximise independence and function in older people after they have had an admission to an acute hospital.


  • Improved patient outcomes, and patient well-being.
  • Improved person centred care and patient activity levels.

Project status

Project started: 2013

Project status: Implementation - the initiative is ready for implementation, is currently being implemented and evaluated


As part of the Essentials of Care program, In August 2013 an observation identified that the afternoons at the TCU was very quiet and most patients were alone in their rooms.

As a part of person centred care patient narratives were used to capture what the patients wanted from their care. The data highlighted boredom as an issue and that the patients would like more daily activities.

Using the patients at the center approach, a patient survey was conducted.

The aim of the survey was to identify:

  • if patients felt that there was enough activity and exercises at TCU
  • if patients experienced boredom
  • the types of activities the patients are interested in
  • the types of activities that the patients did at home.

The survey identified that patients:

  • didn't feel there was enough activity at TCU
  • did experience boredom
  • wanted to participate in other activities such as games, word games, exercise, bowling and gardening.


In response to the survey, the group activity program was expanded and used evidence based practice to inform the content and structure.

The philosophical basis of the program is that it should be person centred, inclusive and involve the whole team. It is focused on the achievement of the patient’s individual goals, taking into account their unique abilities and limitations. It uses a combination of group therapy, and individual and self-directed therapy activities. 

The survey results were used in conjunction with the multidisciplinary team, to devise a sustainable and achievable group program that incorporated a therapeutic purpose along with the ideas of the patients.

The new program includes tai chi and yoga,1,2 social and cognitive stimulus activities including afternoon tea, an outdoor/community access group, an indoor walking group, a standing exercise group and interactive games.3

To ensure effective communication and sharing of information, patients have individual timetables in their rooms. The individual timetable is also used to inform patients and staff of appointments, home visits and any individual therapy tasks.

Implementation sites 

  • Central Coast Local Health District, Woy Woy Hospital, Transitional Care Unit.
  • Long Jetty Transitional Care Unit.


There has been positive feedback from patients, their families and staff, including a previous patient who continues to do his exercises at home.

A follow up survey revealed following results.

  • The majority of patients surveyed reported  they did not feel bored and  there was enough activity and exercise.
  • When asked about the types of activities that they would be interested in doing, some responses included:
    • “I am very happy with what we have been doing”
    • "Games/activities (similar to what we are doing now)"
    • Table tennis
    • Gardening
    • BBQ.


  1. Baum E, Jarfoura D, Polen A, et al. 2003. Effectiveness of a group exercise program in long-term care facility: a randomized pilot trial, Journal of the American Directors Association, vol. 4, no.2, pp.74-80.
  2. Yau, M. 2008. Tai Chi exercise and the improvement of the health and wellbeing in older adults, Medicine and Sport Science, vol.52, pp.155-165.
  3. Turner, P. 1993. Activity nursing and the changes in the quality of life of elderly patients: a semi-quantitative study, Journal of Advanced Nursing, 18, 11, pp. 1727-1733.

Further reading

  1. Ministry of Health NSW. 2013. NSW Transitional Aged Care Program Guidelines, pp 1-131.


Jaimi Lee Silson
Occupational Therapist
Transitional Care Unit
Woy Woy Hospital
Central Coast Local Health District
Phone: 0459 106 925/ 4304 0724

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