The way people lead their lives on a daily basis starting from what they eat and what they love doing during free time among affects the outcome of their health conditions. Almost all people including even those with development disabilities actively make decisions that influence the health and their safety as well. According to (Farhud, 2015), WHO outlines that individuals’ healthy living is directly correlated to their choice of a lifestyle.
As a special education teacher informing people about what they are supposed to do, supporting individuals by providing them with information about what type of lifestyle is appropriate for them is essential. It involves teaching the healthy choices in their lifestyles. Studies have stressed on relations between active lifestyle with happiness (Farhud, Malmir, & Khanahmadi, 2015).
Leading a healthy lifestyle is a very important factor in managing people with development disabilities. It can create avenues for improvement in general health outcomes of the patients and protects them from unexpected attacks of other dangerous diseases.
Specifically, helping and encouraging these kind of individuals to maintain a safe and clean environment to enhance acceptable hygiene levels, keeping them regularly active through physical activities, choosing a balanced diet full of nutritious foods, eradicating smoking, alcohol and the use of drugs; will aid them to lead a fully health life.
The choice of an appropriate lifestyle enables them to have stronger health conditions and lower the risks for such conditions as obesity, high cholesterol levels, mental problem, depression, heart disease, and other related injuries among others.
The lower risks of the above conditions are a clear indicator that, the individuals with development disabilities will have reduced probability of being hospitalized as a result of complications that arise from a poor lifestyle.
The choice of nutritious food is the best way of staying healthy for the people with development disabilities. Health eating lowers risks of obesity and other lifestyle diseases. The healthy eating routine should consist of at least five fruit servings in a day, choosing foods that are low in fats, avoid salt, as well as junk foods such as fried chicken and cakes (Mozaffarian, et al 2011).
Furthermore, the choice of safe and hygienic environment is also important. An individual with development disabilities ought to have an organized hygienic schedule. And this involves regular washing of their clothes, and proper feeding habits, clean dental exercises and appropriate toileting habits among others.
There should be no use of alcohol and other drug substances for the people with development disabilities. Alcohol, smoking and intake of other dug substances are detrimental to anyone. They can cause addiction which in turn results in serious chronic diseases such as cancer and many more. If any individual is detected to have addiction of any drug substance, all efforts should be made to ensure they stop using it.
Regular exercise is also important, such that it keeps the persons healthy, strong and generally active in every aspect of their social lives. These activities could be in form of sit ups on the bed, propelling a wheelchair or running uphill to enhance the physicality of the body.
According to (Sigafoos, Arthur, & O'Reilly, 2003) , medical problems have been the main cause of the challenging behaviour among the people with development disabilities. This means that, enhancing the health wellbeing of the individuals with these traits helps them live comfortably.
The promotion of health involves a variety of activities, which includes regular medical examinations including dental examinations among others; effective measures to enhance the hygiene awareness, promotion of health lifestyles and many more.
Regular medical examinations are a necessity for every person, and more so to people with development disabilities through appropriate care. The medical examinations involve carrying regular tests on the prevailing health conditions of the affected persons. It should include dental examinations to determine the health state of the patient’s teeth and even mental diagnosis to determine their mental state (Lunsky & Raina, 2010).
In addition, health examinations should be carried out to establish any underlying medical condition that may prove detrimental to the health of the person with the development disabilities. Regular medical examinations are appropriate measure of care for them, because most of the times these group of people have no capacity to look after themselves.
The other important factor in health promotion of the individuals with development disabilities is the hygiene skills. As discussed in the first section, roper hygiene is an important part of the healthy lifestyle. Therefore, setting up mechanisms on how to properly teach and develop the culture of good hygiene is a crucial step for the people with development disabilities.
In addition, lifestyles matter, and the more the patient gets imparted with appropriate lifestyle practices such as regular exercises and eradication of alcohol and other drugs intakes; the more the improvement of their general health conditions is evident. The control of excessive use of technology may also help in reduction of depression cases (Thomee, Harenstam, & Hagberg, 2011). Therefore, it is reasonable for efforts to be put in place in promoting healthy lifestyles for healthier living of the affected people (Ziglio, Currie, & Rasmussen, 2004).
It is also important to develop a well established way of communicating. For instance, appropriate mechanisms should be put in place to enable the patients communicate their medical needs, and ensure that their needs are appropriately addressed.
Farhud, D. D. (2015). Impact of Lifestyle on Health. Iranian Journal of Public Health , 1442–1444.
Farhud, D. D., Malmir, M., & Khanahmadi, M. (2015). Happiness as a healthy life style. Iranian Academy of Medical Science. (In press) .
Lunsky, Y., & Raina, P. (2010). A comparison study of adults with intellectual disability and psychiatric disorder with and without forensic involvement. Research in Developmental Disabilities , 218-223.
Mozaffarian, D., Hao, T., Rimm, E., Willett, W., & Hu, F. (2011). Changes in diet and life style and long term weight gain in women & men. N Eng Med J , 2392–2404.
Sigafoos, J., Arthur, M., & O'Reilly, M. (2003). Part 3, Chapter 5: Health and Medical Screening. In Challenging Behavior and Development Disability (pp. 77-93).
Thomee, S., Harenstam, A., & Hagberg, M. (2011). Mobile phone use and stress, sleep disturbances, and symptom of depression among young adults. BMC Public Health , 66–77.
Ziglio, E., Currie, C., & Rasmussen, V. (2004). The WHO cross-national study of health behavior in school aged children from 35 countries: findings from 2001–2002. J School Health , 204– 206.
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