What allied health professionals do
There are many different types of allied health professionals.
This section lists many of them and how they might be able to work with you. Not all will be available everywhere. Some work in local health organisations, some in community and aged services and some work in private practice. Some charge fees and others don’t; some are subsidised by government and others aren’t. Please ask.
- An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health worker
- has very broad skills and cultural knowledge. If you’re Indigenous, they can provide health care and support, and can help you find your way around the health care and the aged care systems.
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Association Tel: 1800 200 800 or 02 6221 9220
- An audiologist
- can assess your hearing and help you hear more clearly. They can arrange a hearing aid, talk to you about other hearing devices and work alongside you while you adapt to your hearing aids.
Audiology Australia Tel: 03 9877 2727
- A Chinese medicine practitioner
- works in traditional Chinese medicine using acupuncture, herbal remedies or both.
Chinese Medicine Board of Australia Tel: 1300 419 495
- A chiropractor’s
- focus of practice is the structure of the spine and how it relates to function and your overall health.
Chiropractors Association of Australia Tollfree: 1800 075 003 Tel: 02 8844 0400
- A counsellor
- can meet with you to talk through specific problems such as adjusting to change and the feelings arising from that, such as loss and grief. The aim is to foster wellbeing.
Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia Tel: 03 9486 3077
- A dementia advisor
- offers assistance through education, counselling, referrals and providing resources. They work in services that specialise in working with people with dementia and their carers. Most dementia advisors are allied health professionals or nurses. Dementia advisors are available in NSW and Queensland; other states and territories may have allied health professionals doing a similar role, with a different title.
- Dental therapists, dental hygienists and oral health therapists
- all work alongside dentists to help you keep your mouth, teeth and gums in good condition. They can work with you to maintain good oral health.
Dental Hygienists Association of Australia
- A dietitian
- is a specialist in food and nutrition.They aim to keep you well nourished and can help with any problems you may have with eating or maintaining a good weight. They are also the best people to advise on any nutrition supplement products, if needed, and where to get them.
Dietitians Association of Australia Tel: 02 6189 1200
- A diversional therapist
- designs leisure and recreation programs. They get to know about you, your history, your interests, your passions and your culture. Then they can suggest activities that are stimulating and enjoyable, either by yourself or with others.
Diversional Therapy Australia Tel: 02 9887 5035
- An exercise physiologist
- can work with you to improve your fitness, strength and balance.
Exercise and Sports Science Australia Tel: 07 3171 3335
- A music therapist
- can support you by using music to improve health, functioning and wellbeing.
Australian Music Therapy Association Tel: 03 9525 9625
- A neuropsychologist
- is a psychologist with expertise in how changes in your brain can lead to changes in thinking, memory and behaviour. They work with you and your family to help you find strategies to adapt to the changes in your brain.
Australian Psychological Society Toll free: 1800 333 497 Tel: 03 8662 3300
- An occupational therapist
- will focus on the things you do every day, like eating, sleeping, dressing and showering. They also look at things you like doing when you are out and about, like driving, and things you do with others, like socialising. They can help you work out what your skills and abilities are, and what help you might like to be able to do the things that are important to you. They can also help you adapt your home environment and use technology to stay at home longer and more safely.
Occupational Therapy Australia Toll free: 1300 682 878 Tel: 03 9415 2900
- An optometrist
- can check your eyesight and check for eye conditions. They can organise glasses if you need them. If you need it, they can refer you to an eye specialist.
Optometry Australia Tel: 03 9668 8500
- An osteopath
- can offer treatment and advice to help improve mobility, circulation and balance, helping you lead a more fulfilling life.
Osteopathy Australia Tel: 1800 467 836
- A pharmacist
- can check whether you are taking the right medications or not, and work with you and your doctor to make sure you are only taking medications that really help.
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia Tel: 02 6270 1888
- A physiotherapist
- can help you improve your strength, balance and the way you move around. They can also help with muscle and joint problems and help reduce any pain or stiffness. They can teach carers and family the safest way of providing physical assistance to you.
Australian Physiotherapy Association Tel: 1300 306 62
- A podiatrist
- can check the health of your feet, advise you about footwear and assist you to manage foot discomfort and injuries. They are part of the allied health team that keeps you mobile.
Australian Podiatry Council Tel: 03 9416 3111
- A psychologist
- is an expert in understanding human behaviour. They can provide counselling and can help you and those around you deal with emotionally difficult issues, and adjust to loss and change.
Australian Psychological Society Toll free 1800 333 497 Tel: 03 8662 3300
- A social worker
- works to understand how you fit into the world around you. They provide support during times of stress and are experts in practical support with things like money and accommodation. They can give you information about appointing others to make decisions on your behalf. Many social workers are also trained counsellors and can support you through times of change, loss and grief.
Australian Association of Social Workers Tel: 02 6199 5000
- A speech pathologist
- is an expert in speech, language and communication, and can help you communicate with others if speaking has become difficult. They can also help with any issues you might have in swallowing.
Speech Pathology Australia Tel: 1300 368 835 or 03 9642 4899
The National Dementia Helpline is an Australian Government funded initiative.