Dealing with Adults with Developmental Disabilities: The Need for Skills and Sensitivity


Dealing with Adults with Developmental Disabilities

Today, aging adults who have development disabilities usually live well into their age in community settings. Often, families are left with the responsibility to take care of these people. But, developmental disability care services in Kanabec Dr. Wasilla Alaska are available for adults with these disabilities whose families or parents cannot care for them. Bright Horizon Homes provide residential homes and community services to this population. As people with developmental disability tend to live longer, care team members and geriatrics providers must learn the health care needs, characteristics and common clinical problems of these individuals.

The Ultimate Challenge

These days, public policies have supported the rights of individuals with disabilities to be in their chosen community. To make this relevant to individuals with developmental disability, a corresponding increase in environmental supports is needed to enable their full participation in the community. Until they turn 21, these people can get support services through the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act. But once this eligibility ends, support for these individuals must be given by his family or us at Bright Horizon Homes.

Over the life span of the person with developmental disability, this can become more challenging as aging-related changes affect him and his supporting family members. Major challenges which must be addressed include enhancing the health and function of the person and his family, improving family-based and consumer-directed care as well as minimizing barriers to community participation and health.

Unique Needs

Some conditions are prevalent among people who have developmental disability. For instance, there is a higher case of functional decline, dental disease, bowel obstruction, obesity, gastrointestinal cancer or mental illness. Also, vision loss and hearing impairment are common in older adults who have this disability due to pre-existing undiagnosed pathologies.

Screening and evaluations scheduled yearly or every six months are recommended together with a multidisciplinary approach to maintain the health of people with developmental disability. Major health problems which must be carefully examined include:

• Pain and address- Patients who are non-verbal can be evaluated with the help of a provider of developmental disability care services in Kanabec Dr. Wasilla Alaska like Bright Horizon Homes and pain evaluation tools adapted for the patient.
• Hearing and vision- Screen for glaucoma and cataracts as well as evaluate hearing in light of reported behavioral changes.

Special Consideration

Adults who have developmental disability and mental health problems are usually misdiagnosed. Nonverbal patients tend to pose more challenges and making a clear diagnosis may not be easy when symptoms like hallucinations and delusions are present. While the input of a caregiver can help, clinicians must include the patient in all interactions and speak directly to them unless communication is a barrier.

Are you looking for a provider developmental disability care services in Kanabec Dr. Wasilla Alaska for your adult family member with developmental disability? Contact Bright Horizon Homes now at 907-357-2233.

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