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Sheltering Arms Blog

World Cerebral Palsy Day 2017

Posted on: October 6, 2017 by Robert Moss

Today is World Cerebral Palsy Day, a social movement created to ensure that everyone with cerebral palsy has the same rights, access and opportunities as anyone else.

Children with developmental disabilities are living longer due to improved technology and healthcare delivery. In response to that, the population of adults with cerebral palsy has increased. Adults with cerebral palsy are living well into their thirties and sometimes forties and still have parental caregivers. They have aged out of pediatric care, yet still require specialty care to ensure continued health and wellness.

These patients frequently experience declining function at different stages of their life. There is a potential for decreased mobility, increase in deformities, osteoporosis, and pain issues. Adults with cerebral palsy are more likely to lead sedentary lifestyles due to these impairments and activity limitations and are at greater risk of having four to five chronic health conditions than are non-disabled adults. These chronic conditions can include diabetes, hypertension, stoke, asthma, emphysema, joint pain and arthritis. Appropriate interdisciplinary management along the course of their lifetime has the potential to prevent these secondary impairments and improve their quality of life as well as their caregivers’ quality of life. This includes physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology and fitness.

A lifespan approach to the treatment of children and adults with cerebral palsy is becoming a trend in the industry so that healthcare providers understand their unique challenges and recognize critical periods for development of these problems through the lifespan. Current recommendations include treatment and management that is directed toward improving function, preventing the development of secondary impairments at each age level, and educating individuals and their caregivers regarding the potential complications of aging with a developmental disability. Collaboration among individuals with cerebral palsy, caregivers, and healthcare providers is tremendously helpful in maintaining optimal health and function.

At Sheltering Arms, we have recognized the need for specialization of treatment for this growing population of adults with cerebral palsy. A program has been created with therapists who specialize in their unique needs. Services available include:
•physical therapy to improve mobility, decrease pain and manage equipment including custom wheelchairs
•occupational therapy to improve activities of daily living and job skills assessment
•speech therapy to address communication deficits
•fitness center to promote improved health and wellness over the course of their lifetime

To learn more about the Developmental Disabilities Program, click here or call 1-877-56-REHAB to request an evaluation.