Focus offers nutrition and dietetic services to people living with disability in Canberra and surrounding areas. We mainly work with NDIS participants and their families, carers and support providers. Our goal is to help our clients make positive lifestyle changes and achieve realistic nutrition goals. Our dietitian will adapt her communication and education strategies to suit a person’s unique needs, and is committed to offering support throughout the nutrition journey.

Our dietitian, Shannon Butler, completed her Master of Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Canberra. She was the recipient of the university’s Most Outstanding Dietetic Student award for her academic achievements and advocacy for better nutrition for people living with disability. She has a background in disability support, and it was due to experiences in this role that she chose to become a qualified dietitian in the first place. Shannon believes there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to a healthy lifestyle, and that all foods can be enjoyed as a part of a balanced diet. She also knows that having a disability can make it harder to make lasting changes to diet, so she is realistic about setting goals and strategies that suits a person’s unique needs.

Dietary Advice and Counselling

We provide advice on a range of nutrition topics, such as weight management, chronic disease management, food-related skills, and management strategies for food-related behaviours. We can alter our communication and education techniques to suit a person’s needs and capacity, and we think outside-the-box to provide effective strategies for complex circumstances.

Nutrition Care Plans

Clients who live in supported accommodation can have dozens of people involved in their ongoing care, and due to high staff turnover in the disability sector, it is easy for nutrition advice to become lost and forgotten. A nutrition care plan outlines key points about the patient’s nutrition needs and provides portion suggestions for meals and snacks. These plans provide understanding and promote consistency between those involved in a person’s daily support. Period review and adjustment to the plan is suggested.

Mealtime Management Plan

Dietitian input within a multidisciplinary team where a person requires higher level of support during mealtimes, such as nutritional adequacy on a texture-modified diet.

Meal Planning Frameworks and Recipe Reviews

Assistance to implement a meal planning framework that promotes the client’s choice, control and independence, while still allowing them to meet their individual nutrition needs.

Shopping & Cooking Skills Development

Customized program designed to align with nutrition needs and preferences by addressing nutrition concerns, such as inadequate intake of a specific food group or nutrient. Cooking skills programs are designed to allow support staff to continue working with the patient between Dietitian appointments.

Workshops/Group-Based Skills Development for Disability Support Providers

Sessions on general topics, such as healthy eating, nutrition in dementia, shopping for people with disability, and food safety. Or, person-specific group education for clients with complex nutrition needs.

NDIS Access and Nutrition Support Assessor

We can help take the stress out of NDIS planning by providing comprehensive assessment and progress reports which provide reasonable justification for the provision of funding for disability support services, including nutrition services were appropriate. We also provide assessment and ongoing support/adjustment for a person requiring Nutrition Support (PEG and oral nutrition supplementation).

Mobile services available

Appointments are available at our accessible clinic in Deakin, ACT, or we can come to you. For an NDIS participant, travel feels can be included within the plan.

Focus ACT provides services through the NDIS, Medicare, Department of Veteran Affairs, and most major health funds.                                                     

NDIS

For NDIS participants, we price our services in accordance with the ACT NDIS Price Guide. As of July 2018, those prices are:

  • $179.26/hour for participants using the Improved Daily Living budget
  • $182.74/hour for participants using the Improved Health & Wellbeing budget

 

Medicare or Private Fee Payments

Initial assessment (60 minutes): $130
$77.05 gap fee for CDM patients

Review assessment (30 minutes): $70
$17.05 gap fee for CDM patients

Extended review (45 minutes): $100
$47.05 gap fee for CDM patients

Do I need to have an NDIS plan to see the dietitian?

No, we are also registered with Medicare, DVA, private health funds, and we accept private fee payments. See our ‘pricing’ section for more details, or give us a call. 

Do I need to have a disability to see the dietitian?

No. Our priority is to provide equitable nutrition services to people living with disability, but we are open to helping you whether you have a disability or not. Contact us to find out if we are the right fit for you.

What sets Focus Dietetics apart?

Experience and dedication. Focus has a proud history of providing disability support to Canberrans since 1991. Although our dietetics service is relatively new, our dietitian also has a background as a disability support worker and as a support coordinator through the NDIS transition. At Focus, we understand that providing sustainable services for people with disability can be quite complex. We go above and beyond to work with a person and their extended support networks to set nutrition goals that are more achievable. 

What workshops and training topics do you provide for Disability Support Providers?

Common topics include general healthy eating, food safety, nutrition in dementia, and shopping skills. If you are a disability support provider and you would like a workshop on a specific nutrition topic, we are happy to chat about what we can do for you. 

What if I need to cancel my appointment?

If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, we request that you give us at least 24 hours’ notice so that somebody else can take your spot. We do know that life happens, and 24 hours’ notice isn’t always possible, however for repeated last-minute cancellations we reserve the right to charge for the session in full. We will also make every attempt to provide you with the same respect if, for any reason, we need to reschedule.  

What should I know before I have my first appointment?

The dietitian will probably ask you for information about your medical history, family medical history, medications, social environment, recent medical & blood tests, weight history, and current food intake. It may be helpful if you ask somebody to help you gather this information beforehand. If you have a hard time remembering or communicating what you usually eat, it can help to keep a food diary for 2-3 days before the appointment.

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