A health risk is anything that increases the chances someone will get sick. These risks may include:
Preventable risks are things a person does or does not do that may cause them to get sick.
Studies have shown that people with developmental disabilities are more likely to have the following health risk factors:
People with developmental disabilities are also more likely than people without developmental disabilities to have the following chronic health conditions:
Health is complicated and it can be difficult to say exactly why people get sick. However, these health conditions could all be related to the risk factors listed above.
You can help the individuals you support to change their health behaviors. For example, you can provide information about health risks so that people make better choices.
Some health risks, such as a family history of illness, can’t be changed by behavior. However, knowing these health risks can help prevent illness. For instance, a person with a family history of heart disease can make sure they stay active and eat the right kinds of foods.
People with developmental disabilities may have trouble remembering their family history, and monitoring their own health. As a support person, you can support individuals by knowing their health and family history, and making sure they get all the health screenings they need.
You can help the people you support stay healthy by recognizing their health risks and making a plan for protecting them. The plan should have two main types of activities:
Last updated on June 10th, 2010