Monday, September 25, 2017
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Mei Lin Yap’s latest column details her ambitions for the Open European Swimming Championships in November, her greatest inspirations, and what motivates her drive for success.

Mei-Lin-Yap

My ambition is to become a champion in swimming. I haven’t competed in a few years now so I am just coming back to the swimming again. This ambition is the motivation that I need to keep me driven to achieve this goal; I know this is a really big goal, but I am prepared to put in the hard work to achieve it.

Registered Intellectual Disability Nurses (RNID’s) are unique, being the only group of professionals who are educated solely to work with people with an intellectual disability (ID) (Northway et al 2006). This specialised education is only available in Ireland and the UK. RNIDs work in a wide range of settings, and have a diversity of roles and skills (one of which is care planning)

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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.

Gordon Jeyes, Chief Executive, Tusla, explains the new dedicated state agency responsible for improving wellbeing and outcomes for children

They say that the road’s never easy to a place worth going! Establishing a brand new Agency and championing reform at a time of financial restraint and recruitment restriction has been challenging. Finally, on 1 January, 2014, the Child and Family Agency became an independent legal entity, comprising the former Children & Family Services of the HSE, the Family Support Agency and the National Educational Welfare Board, as well as a range of services responding to domestic, sexual and gender-based violence...

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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...

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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...

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...

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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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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Dr B Ramasubbu, Midlands Regional Hospital, writes that those with an ID are more at risk of poor bone health

Bone health is a topical issue in the medical world at present for all ages, races and both genders. Those with intellectual disability (ID) have many risk factors for poor bone health. Dietary deficiencies, poor mobility and low sunlight exposure and Vitamin D levels lower bone mineral density and increase the risk of osteoporosis (‘brittle bones’). With thinner, more brittle bones recurrent fractures can result, worsening quality of life and putting more obstacles in the path of individuals already dealing with more challenges than most...