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Being a dietitian working in disAbility

For those who know me, I have a few deep personal interests. In no particular order - they are kitchen gadgets (who has two Microplane graters, just in case), cake decorating videos (I love making cakepops for fun), plant-based nutrition and working with people with a disAbility.

People are often curious about the last one. Individuals living with a disAbility is just like you and me - they also may have high cholesterol levels, diabetes, food likes and dislikes etc. People living with a disAbility can greatly benefits from nutrition advice to improve their general health and wellbeing, bowels, and nutritional status.

I feel privileged that people with a disAbility opens their homes to me, welcome me into their houses and let me into their daily life. What is more personal than telling someone your meals, showing someone your fridge, and at times, discussing your struggles.

Typically in each consultation, I discuss with my client or their family (or support worker) their medical conditions, check their recent blood results (if they have) and medication lists, talk about their general health, their diet and dietary preferences. With that, I device a meal plan suitable for my client, and then provide nutrition education.

Bearing in mind that nutrition consultation is often a relationship building activity , as much as the actual nutrition guidance. I spend a great deal of time getting to know my client as a person. The meal plan reflects their personal nutritional goals, their taste preference, and sometimes a little bit of new territory (what's life for without trying a new thing or two?)

So there you have it. Without too much technical nutrition talk, this is why nutrition in disAbility is one of my favourite areas of dietetics practice.


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Shirley Chan

Consultant Dietitian 

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Shirley Chan Consultant Dietitian ABN 41 009 192 602