Monday, September 25, 2017
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Frontline Issue 96
frontline 96

Articles

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Dr Jane Tracy, Centre for Developmental Disability Health, Victoria, Australia, says that many people with intellectual disabilities often encounter barriers to accessing healthcare services

Being healthy is more than not being sick. Being healthy is about feeling well and comfortable, safe and secure, to be able to connect with other people and join in the life of your community. Being healthy is about feeling good physically and mentally. For people with intellectual and other disabilities it is very important to be and stay as healthy as possible, as being unwell makes it harder to do things for yourself, and to join in education, work, recreation and social activities with family and friends. Many people with intellectual disabilities experience poor health. Some of the health issues relate to the disability, but many are the same as those experienced by the general population.

Published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Reviewed by Sandra Rosieur, Counsellor, London

This book explores the personal and interpersonal complexities taking place within the therapeutic community, together with destructive processes that have external origins (such as governmental and health-care commissioning). These ‘attacks’ take place under the guise of policy changes, uncertainties around funding and commissioning, service cuts and, in some cases, they result in the closure of iconic services, such as the Henderson Hospital...

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by Jason Carragher

Hi, my name is Jason Carragher. I am 17 yrs old and I go to St Paul’s Special School in Beaumont Woods. I started when I was 6 yrs old and I have had a lot of problems with behaviour and also with my weight. I have always battled with my weight since I was a young child. At one stage I was 16 stone and was not healthy. I ate all the wrong foods and didn’t exercise a lot, but at the time I didn’t understand why my weight was an issue because I didn’t have the same thoughts as a normal child would have...

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Anne Maher on the benefits of a probiotic diet.

The term ‘probiotic’ has become a familiar one in recent years. However, it is not such a new concept and indeed in the early 1900s, Ilya Mechnikov was the first to propose the use of live microorganisms in maintaining bowel health and prolonging life. Now, the term probiotic is used to describe dietary microorganisms that are beneficial to the health of the host. It is not unusual now to be encouraged to take a course of probiotics along with or soon after a course of antibiotics...

Aisling Lennon and Kathy O’Grady say when parenting a child with intellectual disabilities or supporting an aging spouse, it is important that caregivers take the time to consider how they care for themselves.

On 2 July 2014, the Carers Association launched their Pre-budget Submission 2015, estimating that 187,000 people are providing care in the home in Ireland. Caring activities range from providing occasional assistance, to providing full-time care for an individual, be they a child or an adult. Caring can include supporting an individual with their physical care, assisting with the management of symptoms, and assisting with activities of daily living. Caring also involves providing emotional support for the individual...

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Dr Evan Yacoub, Consultant Psychiatrist, Brothers of Charity Galway, says that respite can take a number of different forms and it is important that services can deliver it in a flexible way.

This article outlines the daily challenges faced by families in caring for those with learning disabilities, and the corresponding need for respite services to...

Joe Wolfe explains that services need to focus more on the health and well-being of those with an ID

People with an intellectual disability are, in general, more likely to have poor health than their non-disabled peers (National Disability Authority 2011). This is recognised internationally and has received much attention over time. While there is an argument that sometimes this poorer health is related to the person’s disability, this is not exclusively the case. Indeed, there is growing evidence that the poorer health is often associated with, and influenced by, health inequality for people with intellectual disabilities...

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Andrew Wormald writes that moving older people with an intellectual disability away from congregated settings into dispersed community living can contribute to their loneliness.

The Causal Pathways as described by Hawkley and Cacioppo (2007) that through loneliness lead to decreased physiological resilience.

After spending a lifetime living in closed institutions older people with an intellectual disability are now being moved away from congregated settings into dispersed community living. For many this is indeed a very positive move, however concerns have also been raised about potential unintended negative impact on health and mortality at least for some (Kozma, Mansa & Beadle-Brown), 2009) Like immigrants in a new country some will reap the rewards and some will struggle to adjust. According to the Intellectual Disability Supplement to The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (IDS-TILDA) around 50% of respondents experienced some degree of loneliness and 15% reported that they felt lonely most of the time...

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Michael McKeon, DCU School of Nursing and Human Sciences says that, for those with an ID, walking is one answer to a sedentary lifestyle.

Research suggests that although the health of people with ID has improved over the past 30 years, they still have higher rates of both primary and secondary medical conditions, undiagnosed diseases and unmet health needs compared to the non-ID population (McCarron et al. 2011). One of the most significant current discussions in intellectual disability concerns the health risks from inactivity which lead to increase risk factors for non-communicable diseases such as type-2 diabetes and heart disease (Taggart and Cousins 2014). People with ID do not meet current physical activity guidelines and have high inactivity and poor fitness (Phillip and Holland 2011). Along with low rates of physical activity, poor diet and secondary health conditions contain their abilities to be active (RCN 2011)...

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Ciara Willett, Suzanne Guerin, Fiona Keogh and Philip Dodd argue that because the current definitions of respite do not include a specific time frame for respite, the qualifying duration of respite is open to interpretation.

Over 5600 people with intellectual disabilities (ID) in Ireland use a form of respite each yeaer (Health Research Board 2011). Although respite provision in Ireland has substantially increased over the past 16 years, it is projected that an additional 1211 individuals will require respite from 2012 to 2016. The Department of Health reported that 8000 individuals received centre-based respite in 2009, with a total pay cost of e52 million, and a total estimated cost of e70-2 million. They suggested that alternative models of respite care might be more cost-effective than the centre-based respite method (Department of Health (2012) Value for money and policy review of disability services in Ireland). The policy and empirical literature explicitly states the need to increase the availability of respite, and carers of individuals with ID commonly request this resource...