adult male talking online

For some time now I have been supporting the nutritional and health needs of ostomates, firstly via consultations in my local area in Melbourne, Australia, and then through travelling to many different parts of Australia to give nutritional presentations.  The presentations covered a range of topics and were presented to ostomy support groups, industry professionals such as Stomal Therapy Nurses, and others.  These experiences have always been very enjoyable and rewarding for me as I was able to educate and assist both ostomates themselves and those involved in the care of ostomates.

However, over the years I have been contacted by and spoken with many ostomates who live in remote areas and who do not have a support group or a Stomal Therapy Nurse in their region.  Australia in particular is a vast country, and for some people in this country it would require a lengthy drive of many hours to receive the specialised physical and emotional support that these services provide.

My understanding from discussions with ostomates in other countries is that they also experience similar circumstances to many ostomates in Australia, in that they do not always have direct and immediate access to supportive services for ostomates.  This can lead to feelings of isolation.

More recently, I expanded my nutritional services to the online environment via video consultations to support those in more isolated areas.  I am now lucky enough to reach and assist ostomates all around Australia and also overseas.   I feel very privileged to be able to do this work.  It is especially enriching to speak with ostomates in other countries and learn of their experiences and how they are managing.  It has widened my scope of knowledge and deepened my understanding and respect for ostomates worldwide.

My contact with ostomates via one-on-one video consultations has provided the opportunity for me to get to know my clients and understand their individual history and experiences.  This has then enabled me to provide specific, personalised dietary and health advice that addresses their concerns and answers their questions.  However, I still want to do more.

Online group sessions for ostomates

This year I have taken my range of services a step further to assist even more people in a different way.  In order to make our country and even the world feel a little bit smaller, and to bring important resources closer to those in remote and/or isolated areas around the world, I have extended my consulting services to include the opportunity to speak to groups of ostomates via the online environment.

Group sessions can be fun as you have the chance to meet and learn from other people experiencing similar issues, concerns and circumstances as yourself.

Online group sessions have the advantage of providing:

  • Affordable resources to you wherever you are in the world
  • Specialised support
  • Education
  • The opportunity to ask questions
  • Comfort and reassurance
  • Contact and connection with other ostomates.

Group sessions are conducted via a secure online video connection and provide the opportunity to discuss issues and ask questions.  In order to participate in a group session, you need a computer or iPad/tablet with a camera and audio/sound.  The groups are small to allow for individual participation and the huge advantage is that you can stay in the comfort and privacy of your own home.  With today’s technology we can connect anywhere in the world!

Let’s Talk About……

The current group sessions I am offering are part of my ‘Let’s Talk About…’ series.  This series of sessions focuses on a range of topics that are relevant to ostomates and provides education and strategies that can increase feelings of confidence and control.  Becoming and being an ostomate can be new, strange and different in the early stages until the new ‘normal’ develops, and so I aim to assist the transition to life as an ostomate by way of these sessions.

In these group sessions, I provide a short presentation on a topic that is pertinent to ostomates.  The discussion is then opened up to group participants for question and answer opportunities relevant to the topic.  Each session is approximately 60 minutes.

Currently, in this series, I am focusing on the issue of bowel obstructions, as these are a primary concern for many ostomates.   The details of the next scheduled online group session are below:

Let’s talk about…..

  • Bowel Obstructions

Factors within your control and strategies to reduce your risk.

This presentation discusses some of the factors within your control in relation to preventing bowel obstructions, and includes practical, simple and effective strategies that can help you to reduce your risk.  Questions relating to the topic will be welcome at the end of the presentation.

Date:            Wednesday 13th November 2019

Time:           12.00 pm AEDT (Check your local time here

Cost:            $45.00 AUD per person

Places are limited, so if you wish to participate in a group session, please register by using the ‘Book Group Session’ button on the Group Sessions page.  Payment for group sessions can be made in the currency of your choice via PayPal.

Additional topics in this series will be introduced in 2020.

I look forward to seeing you in an online group soon!

Wishing you good health and happy days,


“Today, I had the amazing opportunity to attend an online webinar hosted by Margaret on the topic ‘Let’s talk about bowel obstructions’.
This was an incredibly comprehensive, thorough and empowering talk.
As an ostomate of over 38 years I have read, heard and thought I knew about the importance of maintaining fluids, eating carefully, physical activity etc., but this was the first time anyone had ever pulled all these, and other aspects of self management, together in such an understandable manner. It just made sense!
Margaret is an excellent teacher. In a very easy to follow format and style, her webinar went straight to the heart of why obstructions occur and how we can avoid them or deal with them, if necessary.
Most importantly however, the talk provided a basic explanation of our body’s functioning, and how we, with knowledge, can optimise this.
I had ‘heard’ much of this before, but now I understand… and understanding brings a natural change to attitude and behaviour.
(For example: It’s not so much that I ‘should’ drink more fluids… it’s more that now I understand how much benefit I’m getting – for my body and my life- when I do.)
I highly recommend this webinar to all those with an ileostomy- irrespective of whether you have ever had an obstruction or not.
I am extremely grateful to have taken part in this session today, as I can already see that some simple lifestyle changes or procedures will make a major difference, even now, so many years after my initial surgery.
The impact of this teaching will last me a very long time… probably for life!
Thank you Margaret.
– Mary Hord”

Article by Margaret Allan

Margaret Allan is a qualified Nutritionist who advises Ostomates and the general public on diet and health-related matters. Nutrition for Ostomates provides a range of consulting options - find out more on our Services Page.