Allied Health

Allied Health

Often included as visiting service providers the following section provides an overview of some of the varied ways in which Allied Health professionals can provide support for older people to function well physically, socially and emotionally and support them to live as independently as possible. [1]

Allied health professional services for older people include:

  • Interventions to support daily activities and reduce the impact of chronic conditions and disabilities
  • Rehabilitative care to support people to regain function and strength 
  • Strategies to support a persons independence
  • Care co-ordination

How Allied Health professionals can help:

Examples adapted from [2]

Counsellors or Psychologists

  • Support people to talk about any fears, worries or emotions 
  • Provide bereavement care and support to the person's family and carers


  • Review residents or clients with eating difficulties.
  • Try to resolve any digestive issues, such as poor appetite, nausea or constipation
  • Work with speech pathologists, who can assess and help the person deal with eating and swallowing problems.

Occupational therapists

  • Help the person manage the physical aspects of daily activities, such as walking, bathing, and getting into and out of bed and chairs safely
  • Advise on physical aids to improve mobility 
  • Help manage symptoms such as pain associated with positioning or to review pressure and comfort care, particularly in sitting.


  • Provide access to prescription and over-the-counter medicines
  • Organise the person's tablets and capsules into a dose administration aid (e.g. Webster-pak)
  • Provide information about how to safely take medicines and possible side effects or interactions with other drugs


  • Teach carers and families the best ways to move the person or to help them to sit and stand
  • Assist with pain relief techniques such as positioning, using hot and cold packs, and stimulating certain nerves in the body.

Social workers

  • Assess what sort of support the person and their family and carers need, and identify ways that they can receive this support including support with financial and legal matters
  • Assist with communication within the family and with other health care professionals, including any changes to theircare goals

Speech Pathologist

  • Assist the patient to express themselves, make their own decisions, maintain relationships
  • Review residents or clients with eating difficulties
  • Support people with communication and swallowing difficulties.

Others include:

  • Ministers of religion, chaplains and pastoral care workers can provide spiritual and supportive care to residents and their families
  • Music therapists.

Page created 05 August 2019


  • References

  • Find out more

  • Related palliAGED pages

  1. Allied Health Professions Australia. Aged Care [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2019 Aug 19].
  2. Cancer Council NSW. The palliative care team [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2019 Aug 19].

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