Allied Health

Allied Health

Allied health professionals are health professionals that are not part of the medical, dental or nursing professions. They are qualified practitioners with a University qualification who provide specialised expertise in preventing, diagnosing and treating a range of health conditions. Often included as visiting service providers the following section provides an overview of the varied ways in which they can provide support for older people.

Allied health professionals support 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

Allied Health professionals engaged with palliative care include [2]:

Counsellor or psychologist

  • trained in listening and counselling
  • supports you to talk about any fears, worries or emotions 
  • provides bereavement care and support to your family and carers


  • helps you choose appropriate food and nutritional supplements
  • may review a resident with eating difficulties.
  • tries to resolve any digestive issues, such as poor appetite, nausea or constipation
  • may work with a speech pathologist, who can assess and help you deal with eating and swallowing problems

Occupational therapist 

  • helps you manage the physical aspects of daily activities, such as walking, bathing, and getting into and out of bed and chairs safely
  • advises you on physical aids to improve your mobility 
  • may see residents to help manage symptoms such as pain associated with positioning or to review pressure and comfort care, particularly in sitting.


  • gives you access to prescription and over-the-counter medicines
  • can organise your tablets and capsules into a blister pack (e.g. Webster-pak)
  • provides information about how to safely take medicines and possible side effects or interactions with other drugs


  • teaches carers and family the best ways to move you or help you sit and stand
  • assists with pain relief techniques, such as positioning your body in a better way, using hot and cold packs, and stimulating certain nerves in your body

Social worker

  • assesses what sort of support you, your family and carers need, and identifies ways you can receive this support including support with financial and legal matters
  • assists with communication within the family and with other health care professionals, including any changes to your care goals

Speech Pathologist

  • assist the patient to express themselves, make their own decisions, maintain relationships
  • may review a resident with eating difficulties. 
  • support people with communication and swallowing difficulties.

Others include:

  • Ministers of religion, chaplains and pastoral care workers 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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