COVID-19 Update 7 May 2020

I hope you are staying safe and well and not too stir crazy with the last month of lock down!

After a month of mainly telehealth, I am excited to be able to reopen most clinics to physically see clients in rooms! Kippa-Ring is the main exception.

All the clinic locations are practising infection control guidelines including lots of hand washing and sanitising, physical distancing, frequent cleansing of hard surfaces including desk tops, door handles and other touch points.

So starting next week, clients have the option of physically coming into rooms (which will be lovely for me to catch up with you), continue with Telehealth (telephone or video consults) or home visits.

Here is a summary of options:

Medicare clients

In room consultation or Telehealth (telephone or video consults).

In rooms, the initial consultation fees are higher than the Medicare rebate, but reviews for Pensioners and Health Care Card holders can be bulk billed.

Any Telehealth consultations for Medicare clients are bulkbilled.

New clients will still need to be provided with an Enhanced Primary Care Program Referral form for Individual Allied Health Services under Medicare from your Doctor – if possible ask the Doctor to fax the referral to 3263 8498.

Gold Card Veterans

In room consultation, Telehealth (telephone or video consults) or home visits.  Ideally, home visits conducted in a private area outside your home (patio) is the best way.  I sanitise my hands and equipment before coming into your home environment.

New Gold Card holding Veterans need a D904 referral from your Doctor before the consultation. If possible ask your Doctor to please fax the referral to 3263 8498.

Clients with Private Health Funds

In room consultation, Telehealth (telephone or video consults) or home visits. Most health funds have approved Telehealth up until 30 June 2020. You can choose what consultation suits you best.


Participants have the choice of Telehealth, in room or home visit consultations. If you are an NDIS participant, family member, plan manager or support worker with questions, feel free to call me and discuss.

My Health for Life Program

The My Health for Life Program is a group program (now over Zoom) that is a free Qld Health funded program for people over 45 (or women that have had gestational diabetes in the past, or indigenous Australians over 18). If you would like to make lifestyle changes (healthy eating, more exercise, coping better etc) this might be an option to relieve boredom or help reduce feelings of loneliness during this time of isolation. Participants set their own health goals but get the support from the group.  If you would like to see if you are eligible, call me on 0409 628 551 and I can do a quick survey to find out.  The program is for 1 hour each week for 9 weeks with a final follow up 3 months later.

 How to book a Telehealth appointment?

Appointment times are between 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday. To arrange an appointment :

Phone or text:   0409 628 551


How to book an  appointment at one of the rooms?

Feel free to call the clinics to book the appointments or call me on 0409 628 551.

Stay safe, look after your physical and mental health and take care, Cathie Lowe.

Understanding Dementia Course

dementiaThis is just a quick plug for the University of Tasmania’s free online course on Understanding Dementia.  This is a great course for people that work in community care of nursing homes that work with people with dementia.  The next course starts in October 2014.

The link for more information is below:

Texture Modified Diets and Thickened Fluid Resources

When people have swallowing problems, a Speech Pathologist may recommend different textures of food (soft, minced moist, smooth puree) or thicknesses of fluids (mild, moderate, extremely thick).  Many people have difficulty preparing foods that look appetising with the change in texture.

I’ve included resources that I have found that may be useful for carers, nursing home staff and kitchen staff.

Education in Nutrition DVD Food and Nutrition Considerations in Dysphagia – presented by Janet Martin APD and author.  This DVD discusses the swallowing process, signs of swallowing problems, the different texture and fluid levels and how to prepare meals that are interesting and taste great. View information.

Janet Martin is the author of two recipes books for texture modified diets.  Good Looking, Easy Swallowing Recipe book is available from most book shops.

Her second recipe book is available through Nestle and is called A Kitchen Manual for Preparation of Modified Texture Diets and has recipes such as Chicken and Apricot Mousse Salad to get everyone thinking differently about puree foods!

For nursing homes and hospitals or for carers there is a poster of the different texture modified diets and thickened fluids if you follow the link below. View poster.

Should kids with Downs syndrome be on a multivitamin?

Many thanks to Danielle Voller for writing up this topic for me.  I was asked this question by a mum who had heard that Downs syndrome kids all needed to be taking zinc tablets.

Zinc plays a central role in the maintenance of the immune system, and is important for growth and development in children. Zinc is found naturally in foods such as red meat, poultry, fish/seafood, whole cereals and dairy food.

It has generally been thought that children with downs syndrome have lower levels of zinc than typically developing children, however this is yet to be scientifically proven.  A recent study measuring the nutrient requirements of  downs syndrome children (that were very overweight) , showed that the reported energy intake was restricted in these kids, meaning that the overall vitamin and mineral intake was low, which resulted in deficiencies. This specific study recommended a multivitamin and mineral supplement in these children with restricted diets.

One study showed a potential benefit in supplementing downs syndrome children with zinc, reporting improved immune function and accelerated growth, however another study showed no evidence to support the use of zinc supplement in downs syndrome children.

When searched in google, the majority of websites suggest that there is a need to supplement zinc in children with downs syndrome, as some of the problems associated with downs syndrome may be caused by the lack of zinc. Others suggest that long term, a healthy, nutritious diet will be most beneficial.

The bottom line is that it is important for your child to be having a balanced diet including a range of vitamins and minerals.  Based on the evidence at hand, zinc or multivitamin supplementation is not something that should be given to every child.  To ensure your child is receiving the best nutrition, visit your local Accredited Practising Dietitian to get some individual advice.