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Dietetics with Natalie

  • 3 mins

Today we celebrate National Dietitians Day here in Australia.

Recently we sat down with HenderCare dietician Natalie Mullins to find out everything that is involved in dietetics, particularly why it is so important to understand and support the personal relationship people have with food and health and fitness.

Dietetics is best described as the provision of nutrition, assessment, intervention, and ongoing supports and involves a number of factors, include the management of both nutrition intake and any also medical conditions a service recipient may have.

In terms of nutrition, Natalie explained the importance of medical nutrition therapy which can include the diagnosis of malnutrition, providing support for malnutrition, looking at things like the adequacy of oral intake, providing nutritional supplementation and working with things like food fortification.

When it comes to the management of medical conditions such as diabetes, dietitians will work with the service recipient to manage their blood sugar levels, as well as kidney disease and liver disease.

Alongside the different areas of medical management that comes with dietetics, an incredibly important focus for dietitians is the role of counsellor and the impact and benefits that mental support can have on a service recipient.

Alongside the counselling role is more generalised nutrition education, providing information for overall healthy eating, label reading and meal planning skills and realistic and practical day to day lifestyle or health behaviour changes that relate to their diet and eating patterns.

Natalie highlighted:

“So sometimes that might be that someone has decided that they’d like to try being vegetarian. We need to be considering what things we need to take into account to make sure that is nutritionally adequate or do we then need to train support workers in how to cook different vegetarian

meals.”

At HenderCare, our dietitians can offer both home visits and telehealth, supporting service recipients in an environment that works for them and their families.

When working with an individual at home and in the community, Natalie pointed the provision of services can vary in a number of ways.

“It might look like meeting someone at the supermarket and doing contextual education with them or cooking with them and their support workers.”

Understanding the individual factors of each service recipient is incredibly important to providing high quality and effective services and support.

“Looking at their clinical history, what their eating pattern is, what that is influenced by, a lot of integration with cooking skills and their overall ability to access food- so finding out who does their shopping, who does the cooking in the house.

You also need to look at whether they want to be involved in those tasks-, some people may really want more choice and involvement and then whether or not they are set up for this.”

Dietetics at HenderCare also works alongside other allied health services including occupational therapy and speech pathology to implement all the areas of services required for the individual.

To find out more about dietetics at HenderCare and to get in touch, you can contact the team today on 1300 764 433 or check out the dietetics page on our website: Dietetics – HenderCare

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