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Allied Health

Supporting you with expert advice and guidance

Sometimes you need extra guidance and support from specialists. We have a team of Allied Health specialists to answer your questions and explore ways to promote your health and well-being whilst living with and after cancer.


Dietitian

A Dietitian’s focus is to help clients learn how to use food to control their disease symptoms, minimise their disease impact and improve their quality of life. Our Dietetic Service values the client’s lifestyle and provides realistic and practical support which aims to empower clients to be active participants in their own health management.  

Good nutrition is important for people diagnosed with cancer, particularly during and after treatment. Establishing supportive eating patterns will help to sustain energy and promote adequate nutrition to support body functions. Medical nutrition therapy ensures foods and liquids consumed have the right balance of important nutrients to support the individual’s needs. Dietitians’ assist with reducing treatment side effects including loss of appetite, dry mouth, taste changes, nausea, vomiting and bowel complaints. If you are starting treatment, unsure if your current choice of foods is right for you or experiencing nutrition impact symptoms, an appointment with our Dietitian might be timely to assess your needs.  

Our Dietitians help to manage cancer as a chronic disease and are known as Allied Health specialists. Appointments can be Medicare and Department of Veterans Affairs eligible and your private health fund may also offer reimbursement.

Diabetes Educator

Whilst undergoing treatment for cancer, some people can also develop Diabetes. Alternatively, some people may already be living with Diabetes when they are diagnosed with cancer. Diabetes can affect cancer-related treatments and quality of life. Whether undergoing current treatment, in survivorship or palliative care, effectively managing Diabetes may reduce symptom severity, increase treatment compliance and improve over-all quality of life.  

A Diabetes Educator is a specialist and can assist you with understanding the disease and provide practical solutions to support self-management. Working alongside the COUCH Wellness Centre and your Medical Practitioner, our Diabetes Educator can:

  • Provide individualised diabetes/cancer specific information
  • Support insulin stabilisation
  • Improve knowledge of managing Diabetes
  • Manage disease side-effects and relationship with cancer
  • Provide evidence-based approach to clinical care  

Our Diabetic Educator can help to manage the Diabetes/Cancer relationship and create solutions that are individualised to your care needs. Appointments can be Medicare and Department of Veterans Affairs eligible and your private health fund may also offer reimbursement.

Exercise Physiologist

Maintaining an appropriate level of exercise whilst undergoing treatment or living with cancer is one of the most beneficial lifestyle activities you can participate in. In the cancer care setting, research has shown functional movement or physical activity reduces the rate of cancer recurrence, eases treatment side effects and lessens fatigue. It has also been shown to increase strength, balance and endurance as well as improve or maintain bone density and mobility after surgery.

It is all about setting realistic goals and understanding how to overcome any barriers you may have to exercise. Exercise Physiologist’s find the right balance for you whilst ensuring your treatment regime, other conditions you may have, and lifestyle challenges are all considered and supported.  

Our Exercise Physiologists help to manage cancer as a chronic disease and are known as Allied Health specialists. Appointments can be Medicare and Department of Veterans Affairs eligible and your private health fund may also offer reimbursement.

Occupational Therapist

Occupational Therapists (OTs) working in oncology have specialist knowledge of the various types of cancer, the range of symptoms and potential treatment side effects that can impact on everyday function. Occupational therapists are equipped to support the individual needs of the client at all points of care, including diagnosis, survivorship and end of life care.

An OT will work in partnership with the client to identify and provide an individualised assessment of their unique needs. The primary focus is to promote maximum functional performance, both physically and psychologically to support everyday living. Interventions can involve a rehabilitation or compensatory approach and can range from self-care activities such as completing showering and dressing, meal preparation, laundry tasks or community access and re-engaging back into the work environment.

Occupational therapy interventions can include:

  • Identifying equipment to assist independence and safety i.e. standing more easily, supporting mobility in the home and community.
  • Reviewing the home environment and providing intervention regarding modifications that support independence e.g. rails, ramps, bathroom renovation. 
  • Upper limb assessment/lymphoedema management.
  • Fatigue management/energy conservation education.
  • Cognitive assessment and management e.g. strategies to assist memory.
  • Anxiety management and relaxation techniques. 
  • Assisting with emotional adjustment to the impact of illness. 
  • Pressure care education.
  • Return to work or developing opportunities to engage in leisure interests. 
  • Support and education for carers. 

We refer our clients to a local Occupational Therapist who also specialises in Lymphoedema treatment. Occupational Therapists can help to manage cancer as a chronic disease and are known as Allied Health specialists. Appointments can be Medicare and Department of Veterans Affairs eligible.

Lymphoedema Specialist

Lymphoedema is the build-up of clear lymph fluid due to damage or removal of lymph nodes and vessels. This can present as swelling, achiness, decreased flexibility and tightness and feelings of fullness or heaviness in the areas of the body affected. Lymphoedema is caused due to removal of lymph nodes during surgery, radiation treatment, infections or cancer itself.

Appropriate diagnosis and treatment is critical in managing Lymphoedema. There are also ways to reduce your Lymphoedema risk before surgery and minimise flare-ups. Talking with a trained Lymphoedema Specialist can make all the difference in your recovery and support you to live well with Lymphoedema.

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy can assist the body with recovery from surgery through building strength, flexibility, balance and endurance. The COUCH Wellness Centre Physiotherapist can also provide support with bladder and bowel function, incontinence issues and sexual function.  

Physiotherapy repairs damage, reduces pain and stiffness, increases mobility and works towards improving quality of life for people living with cancer. A physiotherapist uses an evidence-based approach to care and will assess, diagnose and treat a range of associated impacts from cancer and its treatment. Focus is also placed on prevention of treatment side effects to encourage recovery and health promoting behaviours.  

Our Physiotherapist can help to manage cancer as a chronic disease and are known as Allied Health specialists. Appointments can be Medicare and Department of Veterans Affairs eligible and your private health fund may also offer reimbursement.

Psychology/Counselling

Receiving a diagnosis and living with cancer can present many challenges which may be distressing. Whilst everyone’s responses are unique, it can be common to experience feelings of sadness, fear, worry, anger and loss. The intensity of these emotions may become disruptive and impact upon the individual’s quality of life. Talking through and finding coping strategies with a Psycho-Oncology Health Professional might benefit in reducing the level of distress experienced.

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