Just like anyone else, it’s important for adults with special needs to maintain their physical and mental wellbeing to prevent serious health disorders and complications. In addition to the health guidelines often recommended to the general population, such as not smoking, not using drugs, and not consuming excessive amounts of alcohol, there are a few health tips special needs adults and their caregivers can follow to maintain a positive state of wellbeing and increase longevity.
HEALTH AND FITNESS AT BADDOUR
At Baddour, our goal is to create personalized fitness plans with long-term goals to improve overall health and wellbeing. Our state-of-the-art fitness center includes a variety of equipment, including treadmills, stairmasters, cross-trainers, recumbent bicycles, weight-lifting equipment, free weights, and more.
Our indoor swimming pool also offers an opportunity for fun aerobic exercise. Our support staff is available for aerobic instruction and takes into consideration physical limitations for each resident to ensure each person receives the most health benefits from our fitness center.
SPECIAL OLYMPICS AT BADDOUR
The Shed and Jane Caffey Clinic at Baddour also offers routine health and wellness checkups, physicals, immunizations, preventative care and testing for a variety of disorders, emergency care, patient and family consultations, and even prescription refills and distribution.
For non-residents, the Caffey Clinic offers wellness screenings (with insurance), school and sports physicals, immunizations for families and businesses, CPR and first aid training, and more. To learn more about our healthcare services for residents and non-residents, contact Jennie Lou Pryor at 662-366-6923 or email.
SCHEDULE A CAMPUS TOUR
Making and keeping regular health checkups and preventative care appointments can ensure your health is in great conditions and potential complications are kept at bay. From general checkups to specialized visits, here are a few of the providers you may want to consider scheduling an appointment or consultation with in order to maintain a positive state of overall health and wellbeing.
Your family practitioner or primacy care provider, often referred to as a PCP, is your main point of contact for general health questions and concerns. Your primary care provider and his or her healthcare team will likely recommend at least one annual visit for routine preventative care, which should include comprehensive blood work and tests to rule out any potential health concerns or complications. Visiting your primary care provider at least once per year is also often necessary to maintain refills on prescription medications.
Your dentist is another important provider who works to make sure your oral health is in good condition. Since oral health can be a direct indication of your overall health, it is a good idea to visit your dentist at least once per year for regular checkups, x-rays, and cleanings to remove plaque and tartar that can lead to an overgrowth of bacteria, cavities, tooth decay and loss, and gum disease and other serious health complications.
If you do not have 20/20 vision, visiting your optometrist at least once per year is always a good idea in order to ensure your prescription lenses are working to provide the best results for you. If your prescription is outdated, it can lead to headaches, blurred vision, and other problematic symptoms. Your optometrist can also determine whether or not you are at risk for eye-related diseases or complications that can lead to vision loss.
Since adults with disabilities may be more at risk for developing metabolic and thyroid disorders as well as hormonal production disorders, your family care provider may refer you to an endocrinologist for routine testing and preventative care. An endocrinologist specializes in preventative care and treatment of diseases and complications involving the endocrine system. This includes but is not limited to:
Special needs adults with digestive disorders should schedule routine visits with a gastroenterologist who can treat symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, symptoms of severe food allergies, chronic constipation, and more.
If you are having trouble creating or sticking to a meal plan that promotes positive health and wellness, a dietitian or registered nutritionist can work with you to build a meal plan that works with your schedule, budget, and personal preferences.
If you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, or any other type of mental health disorder, speaking with a therapist can provide some comfort. If you or a loved one is suffering from depression, anxiety, or overwhelm, know you’re not alone, and don’t be afraid to seek help.
Staying active is one of the most important ways to prevent health complications. If possible, aim for at least 30 minutes per day or at least 150 minutes per week of activity. Activities that raise the heart rate, such as power walking, jogging, basketball, volleyball, swimming, and cycling are even more beneficial for overall health and wellness. Here are a few of the physical activities special needs adults may find enjoyable.
Aerobic swimming can be fun and fitness-based. Practice different swimming techniques, and aim to beat your lap times to improve strength and stamina.
Basketball is a great sport for any group of friends or family members looking for a fun way to exercise together. Many local YMCAs and fitness facilities include basketball courts. At Baddour, we have many recreational facilities, and our basketball court is available for recreational use as well as Special Olympics events.
Soccer is a great aerobic activity that increases heart rate and also improves coordination skills. If you don’t have a group of friends who can participate, practice scoring goals with easily constructed backyard nets for a fun solo fitness activity.
Volleyball is another fun sport that can be enjoyed by family and friends. If you don’t have a local facility that offers the use of volleyball courts, consider investing in a backyard kit that can easily be put up or taken down on weekends and during the evening as well as on birthdays, holidays, and other special events.
Eating healthy is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Avoiding processed foods and added sugar is just one of the ways you can improve your physical and mental wellbeing. Here are a few more tips for eating healthy.
It probably goes without saying, but added sugars are not beneficial to your body in any way. Cutting down on sodas and other sugary drinks as well as sweet and savory foods can prevent an array of health problems, including Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, heart problems, and more.
Have you read the nutrition label on processed food products lately? Many frozen, processed, and packaged foods are full of chemicals, unnatural ingredients, and added fats and sugars that can cause nothing but trouble for your health. Eat as many whole foods like fruits and veggies as possible.
Planning your meals in advance and prepping ingredients can increase your chances of eating healthier, since we’re more likely to make unhealthy choices when we’re hungry or in a rush. Taking time on the weekend to plan meals, shop for groceries, and prepare produce can save time and money while also preventing major health problems.
Mental health is just as important as physical health, and mental health problems can often manifest as physical illnesses, so being proactive about staying positive can go a long way in preventing other health problems and complications as well.
Studies have shown that spending quality time with family, friends, neighbors, and even strangers can boost mental health. Schedule time to visit with family and friends to talk, play board games, or watch a movie.
Staying hydrated is essential to staying positive. Dehydration can actually be a source of mild depression and anxiety for some people, and consuming less than the recommended 64 fluid ounces of water per day can lead to headaches, nausea, and more.
Giving your mind a workout can prevent depression and anxiety, and spending just 10 minutes per day working on logic or crossword puzzles has been shown to significantly lower your chances of developing alzheimer’s and dementia.
Just like mental exercise, physical exercise can improve your overall mental wellbeing. Just 30 minutes a day of physical activity can provide an array of health benefits, including an increase in the production of hormones that can increase happiness.
Creating a support team is very important for special needs adults and their families. Many resources, like Baddour, offer programs and facilities that can assist you with a variety of needs. Whether you choose to consider a special needs facility or build your support team through the love and care of family and friends, having a support network to encourage and equip you can help foster physical and mental wellbeing.
At Baddour, one of our primary goals is to ensure that each person is loved and cared for in every way possible. That’s why we provide a support team that works to encourage the physical, mental, and spiritual growth of each resident.
It is also our goal to provide as many resources as possible for the families of special needs adults. From healthcare professionals trained and equipped to work with special needs adults to fitness centers created with the special needs in mind, we can support and encourage you every step of the way. To learn more about Baddour, or to schedule a campus tour, contact us.
*We are not healthcare professionals. Please consult with a doctor before making any significant changes in diet or exercise.