Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Air Date: 08/15/2019

Older adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities can present clinicians, families, and caregivers with unique challenges related to appropriate assessment, treatment, and care. Providers need to develop the skills and sensitivity necessary to effectively treat these individuals. Adults with developmental disabilities are living longer with more meaningful lives. Within the past decade, advancements in medicine and public policy changes have provided clinicians with an opportunity to play a pivotal role in promoting, managing, and delivering care that supports a high quality of life for older adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). Many health care providers, people with disabilities, families, and caregivers are unfamiliar with the latest information about the age-related health issues that affect people with ID/DD. A need exists not only for more research in this area but also for disseminating information and for improved preventive strategies across the life span for adults with ID/DD. These strategies include targeted health education programs, appropriate screening, and community health promotion programs. The number of adults with ID/DD aged 60 and older is projected to nearly double from 641,860 in 2000 to 1.2 million by 2030. Adults with ID/DD are more likely to develop chronic health conditions at younger ages than other adults because of biological factors related to syndromes and associated developmental disabilities, limited access to adequate health care, and lifestyle and environmental issues. These adults experience higher rates of obesity, sedentary behaviors, and poor nutritional habits compared with the general population. Joining Dr. Fisher on the panel are: Dr. Sarah E. Smith, MD, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, University of Nebraska Medical Center Debbie Herbel, ENCOR Executive Director, Terry Streetman, Public Policy Manager for the Alzheimer's Association Nebraska Chapter, Janet Miller, Adult Services Associate, Munroe-Meyer Institute for Genetics and Rehabilitation, University of Nebraska Medical Center