COVID-19 Update for Adapt Healthcare

The following actions have occurred, in order to manage the risk in regards to the delivery of allied health services, during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Client, Therapist, and Administration education, via email, telephone, and face-to-face, continues to occur to ensure up to date, and current information, is understood and shared regarding:
– infection control procedures and guidelines;
– hand hygiene;
– use of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE);
– effective screening/triage of staff and clients;
– service delivery options, including Telehealth.

Our Administration team is conducting screening questions via phone, prior to every scheduled client/therapist interaction. This process includes therapists conducting a follow-up questionnaire upon presentation with the client, to ensure no changes in the clients health or well-being have occurred – this includes rescheduling of any symptomatic clients until healthy, and referring for testing where appropriate.

All therapist are in possession of appropriate PPE packs, and understand their requirement and how to use them.  Sourcing of these PPE items continues to occur, to ensure a stockpile is in place, to enable business continuity.

Telehealth services have been implemented, with procedures having recently been developed to ensure consistency in the delivery of services.  This includes detailed education being conducted to assist with both therapist and client uptake, particularly with a view to prioritising this type of service delivery model.

Adapt Healthcare is now using Telehealth!

Adapt Health Care is excited to announce that we are now able to run Telehealth sessions for our clients, their families and their support teams. Due to Government’s current recommendation encouraging social distancing, Adapt Health Care has put measures in place to ensure we are able to maintain the safest forms of therapy for both our clients and our therapists. Our allied health team are now able to complete your appointments via phone, video conferencing (zoom) or email.

What do you need to complete Telehealth?

There are a number of different forms of Telehealth including over the phone sessions, video conferencing sessions (zoom), email sessions, check-ins over the phone and online video recorded sessions. At Adapt we are using a range of different types of Telehealth to meet the individuals needs. The therapist will help determine which type is most suitable for you.

To participate in Telehealth you will need:

  • A suitable digital device (e.g. phone, iPad, laptop, desktop computer)
    Internet connection – if you are wanting to complete video conference sessions or email based sessions.
  • Webcam – this can be built in, like your phone, ipad or laptop might have or may be a separate camera that you attach to your computer. This is only needed if wanting to access video conferencing sessions.

What is Telehealth?

Telehealth services use information and communications technologies to deliver health services and transmit health information to people that are in a different location to their allied health therapist. It can include phone calls, video calls, video conferencing (zoom), emails and sharing of videos and pictures between you and your therapist.

I have the appropriate device for Telehealth but I don’t know how to set it up?

Your therapist will be able to talk you through how to set up your device to be able to access Telehealth. We have also included a handout on how to access the Zoom video conferencing software if you are wanting to commence video conferencing/video sessions. This software is free and easy to use.

What if I cannot attend Telehealth?

We are still offering face to face therapy. To ensure this therapy is safe our team is following every government guideline in regards to infection & hygiene control, these include:
A screening questionnaire which our team will conduct over the phone before your sessions as well as repeated at the start of your session to ensure you and your therapist is healthy.
Each therapist has the required personal protection equipment to manage COVID-19 such as face masks, gloves, gowns and protective glasses.
We are also following strict hygiene control with effective hand washing & cleaning practises.
I would like to start Telehealth, how do I let my therapist know?

Please contact your therapist directly or email our administration team on and let them know that you are wanting to start using Telehealth.

Understanding the benefits of speech pathology for older adults

As people age, their speech, language, memory, voice and swallowing changes naturally.

Communication or swallowing disorders can also be caused by stroke or developing a condition such as dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

Communication Problems 

Communication problems experienced by older adults may be caused by neurological disorders such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

Communication problems can include difficulties to speaking (expressive language) as well as difficulties in understanding written and spoken language (receptive language).

Swallowing Problems 

Swallowing disorders (dysphagia) may affect as much as 22% of people aged 50 and over.

Swallowing disorders have a nutritional, emotional and social impact for the person and their family. If dysphagia is left untreated or not managed properly, it may result in chest infection, malnutrition, dehydration, weight loss, and in serious cases, death.

Signs of swallowing difficulties includes:

  • coughing when swallowing
  • a wet or gurgly voice during or after eating or drinking
  • extra time or effort needed to chew or swallow
  • recurring chest infections
  • unexplained weight loss.

How can we help?

Adapt Health Care speech pathologists are experts in the assessment and management of communication and swallowing disorders. They work with older Australians in their own home to promote independence, participation and quality of life.

For more information or to book an appointment with an Adapt Health Care speech pathologist, call 1800 085 030.

Tips for communicating with older adults

  • Understand the person’s communication strengths and weaknesses. Go slowly and allow extra time – particularly for more complex discussions
  • Sit face-to-face and communicate at eye level
  • Hold conversations in a quiet, comfortable environment. Ensure good lighting and minimise visual and auditory distractions
  • Check that sensory aids are working, in place and turned on (e.g. hearing aids, glasses)
  • Speak clearly and stick to one topic at a time
  • Repeat, summarise and/or write down important points or pieces of information
  • Simplify instructions or use pictures and gestures to illustrate your message
  • Provide the opportunity for the person to ask questions or seek clarification
  • Watch carefully for non-verbal cues during conversation and caregiving tasks
  • Acknowledge and respond to communication breakdowns or frustration
  • Make signs, brochures and forms accessible for people with vision and communication difficulties
  • Use greetings and touch appropriately to connect and ensure the person is relaxed and comfortable
  • Involve older adults with communication difficulties in supported conversation and decisions about their care and activities
  • Draw upon the person’s life history, former interests and familiar topics to support and stimulate conversation
  • Find time to communicate and connect on a regular basis

The importance of speech pathology for children

Speech pathologists study, diagnose and treat communication disorders, including difficulties with speech, language, fluency and voice. Early intervention by a speech pathologist, especially for children, is important to understand, improve and overcome communication and/or swallowing difficulties.

A speech pathologist will assess your child’s level of ability in:

  • speech (pronunciation)
  • language (understanding and using words and sentences)
  • stuttering
  • literacy (reading and writing)
  • social skills
  • listening and auditory processing
  • voice
  • swallowing

A speech pathologist will work with you and your child to design a program to help your child develop the skills and abilities that is needed for improvement.

Warning signs of speech or language problems in children

  • you/others having difficulty in understanding your child
  • people thinking your child is younger than they are because of the way he/she speaks
  • your child is being teased or showing frustration because of the way he/she talks
  • your child is using fewer words than other children his/her age
  • your child stutters
  • your child’s interactions or play seems unusual or inappropriate
  • your child is struggling with reading or writing
  • there is a diagnosis that could affect speech or language such as hearing loss, auditory processing disorder, autism spectrum disorder or developmental delay

If your school aged child is showing signs of avoiding speech or getting frustrated because he/she is having trouble understanding or communicating, it might be time to book an appointment to get an assessment by a speech pathologist.

How your child’s speech and language develops

Here’s a rough guide to how a child’s speech and language skills should be developing:

18 months’ old

  • Can say ‘no’
  • Uses 10 or more words
  • Understands the names of familiar objects (e.g. ‘doggy’, ‘ball’, ‘bed’, ‘car’)
  • Answers the question “what’s this?”
  • Understands simple commands

Two years’ old

  • Can use a large variety of consonants
  • Points to some body parts when named
  • Uses two-word combinations (e.g. “more biscuit”, “Daddy gone”)
  • Enjoys listening to stories
  • Can name some pictures in stories
  • Has a vocabulary of at least 50 words
  • Can sing simple songs or nursery rhymes

Three years’ old

  • Correctly produces the sounds made by the letters p, b, m, w, t, d, n, g, h, y
  • Pronounces the final consonant in a word
  • Is able to follow a two-part instruction (e.g. “Go to the kitchen and get your juice”)
  • Can participate in short conversations
  • Puts three or more words together in a sentence
  • Asks “why?”
  • Can talk about something that happened yesterday or last week
  • Is using basic grammar

Four years’ old

  • Talks in whole sentences
  • Uses adult-like grammar
  • Asks a lot of questions
  • Answers “who”, “how”, “how many” questions
  • Tells stories you can easily follow
  • Uses language to create imaginative pretend play with others

Five years’ old

  • Explains how an object can be used
  • Answers ‘when’ and ‘why’ questions
  • Uses language to talk about past and future events
  • Participates in detailed conversations
  • Has little trouble thinking of what to say
  • Is not having too many difficulties learning to read

How can we help?

If your child is experiencing any of the warning signs listed above, we advise you to book an appointment to see a speech pathologist.

At Adapt Health Care, our speech pathologists will work with you and your child to develop a plan to improve and develop their communication skills and abilities. Our speech pathologists are able to work in the home and in a child’s kindergarten or school environment. If you prefer to visit our clinic, we have two clinics located in Buderim and Gympie.

For more information or to book an appointment with an Adapt Health Care speech pathologist, call 1800 085 030.


Frequently asked questions

Could my child just catch up eventually and grow out of a speech disorder?

Some speech disorders can persist well into teenage and adult life. When a person is older, it is much more difficult to correct these problems. Most children with a diagnosed speech disorder will need speech therapy.

What causes speech difficulties?

In most children, there is no known cause for speech disorders. In some, the disorder may be due to a structural problem or from imitating behaviours and the creation of bad habits. Regardless of the cause, your child’s speech therapist will be able to assist with the recommended treatment.

Anxiety In Children & Adolescents

Learn how to spot anxiety in your child & tools for how you can best support them.

One in ten children and adolescents experience anxiety at a level which causes them to have problems doing things (e.g. going to school, trying new things, hanging out with friends, or performing their best). Knowing when to get help for your child can be tough. Worrying is both normal and helpful, which is one of the reasons why knowing when it has become a problem can be tricky. Anxiety comes in all different shapes and sizes. Here are a few of the most common types of anxiety that we see in kids and teens:

  • Separation Anxiety – Characterised by excessive worry and distress when separated from ones’ caregiver in routine or familiar situations (e.g. school or going to a friend’s house).
  • Social Phobia – Characterised by excessive fear of negative evaluation or being the centre of attention in social
  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder – Characterised by excessive and persistent worry regarding several routine things (e.g. doing well at school, not getting into trouble, always being on time, being a good friend, world events, etc).
  • Specific Phobia – Characterised by excessive worry about a specific object or situation (e.g. high places, needles, dogs, the dark, etc).
  • School Refusal – While not a disorder on its own, it can occur as a result of any of the

Doesn’t Everybody Worry?

Yes, everyone gets anxious, and it is both normal and helpful. However, for some, anxiety becomes unhelpful and stops them from doing things. For these kids, anxiety happens more often, more easily, and more strongly.

Worry becomes unhelpful when it…

  • is out of proportion

Jenny worries about failing her maths exam despite never receiving a mark less than 90% on previous exams. She worries so much that she feels sick in the stomach, and has trouble falling asleep for three weeks before the exam.

  • is more than most

Alex worries about something bad happening to his parents when they’re not together. He worries so much that he cannot go to sleep unless his mum stays with him. Sometimes it takes him a couple hours to fall asleep, and even then, he gets very upset if he wakes up when she’s not there.

  • interferes with life

Josh is afraid of dogs and it’s getting in the way of him spending time with his friends and family. Josh can’t go to his best friend’s birthday party because he knows a dog will be there. He has also refused to go on the family holiday because he has heard there might be dogs there.

Recognising Anxiety Disorders In Kids & Teens

Here are a few signs to look for if you’re worried your child or teen might have an anxiety disorder:

  • Often asks reassurance questions (e.g. “Is this right?”)
  • Stomach aches or headaches
  • Distress if a mistake is made or when routine changes
  • Disobedience or aggression to avoid feared situations
  • Avoids unfamiliar situations – They may become sick or not turn up (e.g. school camps or excursions)
  • Appears unhappy – Can always find a potential danger in a situation
  • Distress regarding school despite no apparent difficulties

Why Treat Anxiety Disorders? Don’t Kids Just Grow Out Of It?

Anxiety left untreated can lead to low confidence, missed opportunities, and even depression. The good news is that there are things you can do to reduce worries and fears. In fact, everyone can benefit from learning skills to cope with anxiety.

When To Seek Help

  • If the stress or anxiety symptoms seem much more than peers
  • If stress or anxiety is leading to avoidance of important activities
  • If stress or anxiety is causing a lot of distress and/or interfering with daily activities and/or general life goals

Parents – How Can You Help?

  • Supportive listening
  • Encourage young people to talk by listening
  • Empathise with their feelings
  • Beware of role modelling
  • Expectations and criticisms
  • Role model ‘imperfectionism’
  • Reinforce positive behaviours
  • Give more attention to what you want to see
  • Foster independence
  • Assist young people with problem solving
  • When it is helpful, step in and be their advocates
  • Have fun together
  • There’s nothing more valuable than attention and love

What Now?

If you feel your child or adolescent may be suffering from an anxiety disorder, it may be best to seek support from a health professional. If you are unsure about what/who might be best able to support your child or adolescent, please give us a call or send us an email. We are more than happy to assist in getting you linked in with appropriate supports.


About The Author


About the author Teresa Martin

The NDIS & access to Allied Health

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is an initiative rolled out by the Australian government which aims to provide better access to support services for people living with a disability, their families, and their carers. This particular insurance scheme seeks to provide those living with permanent and significant disabilities the ability to live an ordinary life with access to reasonable and necessary support networks.

Some key points that the NDIS covers include:

  • Access to mainstream support systems and services
  • Wider community access thanks to support networks
  • Proper funding to support particular needs

Who can access the National Disability Insurance Scheme?

Launched in 2013, the NDIS has been rolled out progressively across different states. The way that people gain access to the NDIS varies from state to state. Sometimes it is rolled out by area, other times by age groups.

The NDIS is available for people living with a severe and permanent disability. It promises better living outcomes and a better quality of life. However, not every person with a disability is eligible for the NDIS as some disabilities are categorised in the ‘tier 2’ level, those that are less significant. Also, Australians over the age of 65 are not eligible for the NDIS.

In terms of what this means for the allied health services, the NDIS specifies a difference between health and disability. Health, for the purpose of the NDIS, is defined by the World Health Organization as ‘a state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity.’ Disability, again for the purpose of the NDIS, is an umbrella term for impairments, activity limitations, and restrictions to participating in everyday societal events.

The NDIS is specifically for disabilities, not health problems. Therefore, the NDIS does not fund allied health services for people experiencing health issues and seeking goal oriented services predominantly to improve their health. Rather, there must be a recognised disability in order to access the NDIS.

Allied health services under the NDIS

The ultimate aim of the NDIS is to provide better access for those in need to allied health services, ranging from occupational therapy to speech pathology and to other service providers for those with a disability. The idea of the NDIS is that these services become more accessible for people in need and the funding makes everything more affordable.

In terms of allied health goals, the NDIS has the intention of making these more person-centered towards specific choices and control of the client in question. The success of the NDIS would mean that allied health professionals collaborate with the needs of the client and the family and careers, rather than prescribing medicines and theories from above.

However, as with any major planning and change to a system, the NDIS isn’t perfect yet. For the NDIS to be entirely effective, there needs to be a comprehensive understanding between the allied health services that are available in an area and the people who are seeking the services.

All in all, the NDIS works with allied health services to achieve the following therapy-based goals for people living with a severe and permanent disability:

  • Maintenance care
  • Long term therapy and support
  • Prevent functional decline
  • Early intervention

The NDIS and allied health services for families

A major part of the NDIS is recognising that disabilities affect more than just the person living with them. It extends to the wider family and carers who are in regular contact with the person experiencing the disability. Therefore, the NDIS makes allied health services available for these people as well.

Some of the schemes that are funded under the NDIS for families and carers include:

  • Family support and counselling
  • Social and community activities
  • Increased support with personal care
  • Better funding of equipment, therapies, and transport

If you’d like to learn more, please talk to one of the Adapt team and we can help you understand how this impacts you or your family.

Aging at Home with Allied Health Services

Having the chance to age in your own home is something of a privilege. The allied health services in Australia work hard to ensure that more and more elderly citizens are able to remain in their own home for longer. Having independence, dignity, and that sense of comfort in the home is recognised to make the ageing process much smoother.

The range of home support services for the elderly extends from in-home nursing to home rehabilitation. Depending on the individual’s case and their need requirements, the allied health services also offer complete care at home. This brings peace of mind not only the elderly resident in question but also their family members.

What is the allied health workforce?

The term allied services is an umbrella term used to cover people working in a variety of health disciples. This does, however, exclude doctors and nurses. Those working in the allied health services are in professions which aim to provide greater autonomy to people with health concerns. The allied health services cover support systems ranging from chiropractic to pharmacy, and from physiotherapy to osteopathy.

Some other allied health services include:

  • Psychology
  • Nutritionists
  • Music therapists
  • Audiologists
  • Counsellors
  • Speech pathologists
  • Social workers
  • Dietitian
  • Pathologists

Allied health services for ageing

When it comes to ageing in the home specifically, there is a broad variety of allied health services available. Typically, there are agencies which connect clients in need with the services that are most suited to their requests. These type of agencies will provide clients with the information they need, such as

Knowledge about different types of aged care services
If they are eligible for allied services in their home
A rough cost estimate for budgeting purposes

This all helps elderly residents to make the most informed decision about what allied health services they should look at investing in. With more information, the best choices can be made and extend the longevity of ageing in the home.

What type of care is provided with the services?

When it comes to choosing an allied health service, it is important to know what they will offer and if this will be suitable for the needs of the person seeking the service. Every case is individual and it is important to consult a professional before moving forward with allied health service. Listed below is a rough outline of some of the allied health services available and their benefits for ageing in the home.

Home rehabilitation for post surgery comfort. There are many cases of elderly citizens requiring surgery, such as hip replacements and knee surgery. Home rehabilitation provides physiotherapists and occupational therapists to help people return to the comfort of their own bed for optimal recovery.

In-home nursing is typically referred to by a GP and allows elderly citizens to have the peace of mind of regular check-ups. As people age, it becomes more difficult, or not possible at all, to drive or walk to the doctor clinic. In-home nursing provides registered nurses, carers, occupational therapists, and physiotherapists to provide regular check-ups. During the checkups, clients will have their general health and wellbeing assessed, any wounds tended to, medication and pain management discussed, and palliative care if necessary. This once again brings comfort and support to the elderly person in question and their extended family members.

Complete care at home is well suited for elderly citizens with high levels of care but who wish to continue living in their own independent space. Typically this type of allied health service is offered on a case by case basis and provides complete and flexible care in specific circumstances. From registered nurses who can assess and monitor the general health and wellbeing of a client to domestic carers who help with general cleaning and meal preparation, this type of allied health service brings much peace of mind to elderly residents and their families.

Dementia Care and Tips for Living at Home Independently

In Australia today, there are more than 353,800 people living with dementia. This statistic is one that creates a lot of stress for sufferers of dementia and their families, as well as creating a burden on the healthcare system. However, it is becoming increasingly possible for people experiencing dementia to remain living independently at home.

Dementia is a disorder which affects the mental processes of a person. It is a chronic or persistent issue which can be caused by brain injury or disease, or the aging process. One of the most common traits of dementia is the loss of memory, as well as personality changes and impaired reasoning abilities. All of these create a stressful environment and a lot of confusion in people living with dementia. The ability to stay at home and have those familiar homely comforts is a major positive for families of dementia sufferers.

Living at home with dementia

In the early stages of dementia, it is entirely possible to live at home and live independently. In fact, studies have shown that being able to stay at home and follow a similar routine of socialisation and habits like before the diagnosis can prevent dementia from worsening rapidly.

However, as the disorder progresses, it will eventually become necessary to look into in-home services. It is important that a dementia sufferer has support from doctors, allied health services, and family and friends during this period. It may become necessary to make changes to the home as well in terms of mobility and access as the dementia progresses.

Caring for a family member with dementia

If you are in the position of having a family member living with dementia, who is still living at home, there are some things you can do to provide support. Obviously, regular contact and communication with the person is highly important. This way you can keep track of the dementia and if it is worsening. Staying informed with their health check ups as well will provide you with a better perspective on what is happening.

Awareness is absolutely key when supporting someone living with dementia. Some things that someone experiencing dementia and living alone at home may forget to do include:

  • Forget to eat solid meals
  • Forget to take prescribed medication
  • Have a lessened awareness of hazards
  • Forget to care for and feed pets
  • Become paranoid and have unrealistic suspicions

As a carer or supporter of someone with dementia, you ca help by checking the house regularly and making sure there are no tripping hazards or electrical faults. Looking into independence aids will make a big difference too. These can be things such as hand rails at the shower and toilet, large clocks and easy to read calendars for time perception, and monitoring systems depending on the severity.

The number one factor in helping someone with dementia, however, is understanding and empathy. Letting someone know that you care about them and support them is the biggest support when experiencing dementia.

Top tips for living at home dementia

For the person experiencing dementia and still living at home, these top tips can help make life easier and more independent.

  • Maintain a regular routine each week
  • Understand the times you concentrate best and be most productive then
  • Communicate with family, friends, neighbours, and health care professionals
  • Keep a regular eating pattern and ensure you drink enough fluids
  • Stay active and incorporate a light walk into your weekly schedule
  • Keep essential items in one easy to reach place and always return things to this space, including items such as glasses, keys, bank cards and money
  • Have a list of important people to contact in a visible and easy to reach place
  • Label cupboards and draws so that you always remember where things are

It is really important to remember that dementia doesn’t have to be an isolating experience. Reaching out to the support networks available will make a huge difference. The more you communicate and continue to live your life as regularly as possible, the lesser the degree of the dementia will be.