Guide Caring for the Physical and Mental Health of People with Learning Disabilities

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Arthritis—or join inflammation—is the most common cause of disability among adults residing in the United States. People with disabilities can be at greater risk of having arthritis. Asthma is a disease that affects the lungs. It is one of the most common long-term diseases among children, but adults can have asthma, too. Asthma is the most common chronic disease of childhood and a leading cause of disability among children.

Getting screened for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers as recommended helps find these diseases at an early, often highly treatable, stage. Research shows that women with disabilities are less likely to be screened for breast and cervical cancer within the recommended guidelines. Some reasons identified by women include encountering inaccessible facilities and equipment, and having to focus on other health issues. It is four times more common among females than males.


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People of both sexes and of every race and ethnicity and age including adolescents can develop CFS. Diabetes is a chronic disease for which care and treatment can help people to live normal and productive lives. However, some people might be limited in their everyday activities.

People with diabetes, in general, report rates of disability that are significantly higher than those reported by the general U. People with certain types of disability have a higher risk of getting flu-related complications, such as pneumonia.

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Some physical disabilities can affect how well their body fights off infection. They should discuss their risk of illness with their health care provider. Heart disease, also called cardiovascular disease, is the leading cause of death in the United States. Around , Americans die of heart disease each year. It is also a leading cause of disability.

Learning disabilities can be lifelong conditions and some people can have several overlapping learning disabilities. Other people can have a single, isolated learning problem that has little effect on their lives. Limb loss can occur due to trauma, infection, diabetes, vascular disease, cancer, or other diseases. Some children are born with limb loss or differences. Limb loss more often is the result—rather than the cause—of other health problems.

Treating mental health problems in people with a learning disability

However, loss of a limb can result in decreased physical activity, skin problems associated with using a prosthesis, and phantom pain for the residual limb. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, is a type of bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics. MRSA, most often occurs among people in hospitals and health care facilities such as nursing homes and dialysis centers who have weakened immune systems.

A person can get MRSA through direct contact with an infected person or by sharing personal items, such as towels or razors that have touched infected skin. Musculoskeletal disorders include problems such as back pain, joint injuries, tendinitis, and repetitive strain. Musculoskeletal injuries can cause temporary or even permanent disability, leaving some individuals unable to move around easily. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders are the leading cause of disability for people during their working years.


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Healthy eating is associated with reduced risk for many diseases, including the three leading causes of death in the U. Oral health is more than just having healthy teeth; for example, lifestyle behaviors, such as tobacco use, can affect general and oral health. Oral diseases and conditions are associated with other health problems as well. However, safe and effective measures exist to prevent the most common dental diseases. Respiratory syncytial virus—or RSV—is a virus common in childhood and important among older adults. RSV infects the lungs and breathing passages. Most otherwise healthy people recover from RSV infection in 1 to 2 weeks.

Dorset HealthCare :: Learning Disabilities

However, infection can be severe among some people. Alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and prescription medications all can be substances of abuse. People with disabilities might have multiple risk factors that can increase their chances for substance abuse. Violence is a serious public health problem in the United States. As with all support from Adult Social Care, your needs must first be assessed to determine whether you are eligible for assistance and identify the best ways to support you regardless of eligibility. You may wish to discuss your needs with your family doctor in the first instance.

If Adult Social Care arranges a care home placement for you, there are a few things you should check.

What choice of home do you have and is this restricted by the amount of care you need? Is the provision in accordance with Care Quality Commissions standards?

Caring for the Physical and Mental Health of People with Learning Disabilities

Does the staff team in the home have good links with Adult Social Care? There also are services available to support someone who may be your carer.


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Each County Council should have a sensory services team, which includes rehabilitation workers and social workers, and can provide information packs, advice and access to services as well as support from a network of national and local agencies. If you are a younger adult receiving specialist services and residential care, a care home or care home with nursing is the best option for you, check the following things:.

See our page on choosing a care home for more information.

Your local council can talk to you about advocacy and contact an advocate for you if you need one. Independent advocates can support you to make your own decisions and be involved in discussions about your care and support. Following contact with the local authority for an assessment, the council has a duty to arrange an advocate to support you should you need one. If you are looking for an advocacy service, see our list of advocacy services in Support Services and Trades.

Back To Top. Whats in this section? How does the home meet national essential standards of quality and safety, set out by the Care Quality Commission?