Need of Special Care
Each person with CP has unique strengths and areas of difficulty. Most children with CP need ongoing help with daily care to long term care. While mastering specific skills is an important focus of treatment on day to day basis, the ultimate goal is to help children grow into adulthood with as much independence as possible. Depending on their physical and intellectual abilities, adults may need help finding attendants to care for them, a place to live, a job, and a way to get to their place of employment. For parents to accept a child’s disabilities and come to grips with the extent of their care giving responsibilities will take time and support from different professionals. Our Society is coordinating with these professionals and encourages partnerships between parents and these professionals.
Although medical specialists may be the experts, it is parents who know their children best. SSOG makes the efforts to integrate these efforts aimed at making the life of the spastic child liveable and comfortable to the best possible extent.
SPECIAL MEDICAL CHALLENGES
Majority of children with cerebral palsy live into their adult years. This increase in life expectancy is often accompanied by a rise in medical and functional problems – some of them beginning at a relatively early age – including the following:
Functional Issues at work
The day-to-day challenges of the workplace are likely to increase as an employed individual with cerebral palsy reaches middle age.
The majority of individuals with cerebral palsy will experience some form of premature aging by the time they reach their 40s because of the extra stress and strain the disease puts upon their bodies.
Mental health issues can also be of concern as someone with cerebral palsy grows older. The rate of depression is three to four times higher in people with disabilities such as cerebral palsy. The amount of emotional support someone has, how successful they are at coping with disappointment and stress will have a significant impact on mental health.
Post abnormality Syndrome
Most adults with cerebral palsy experience what is called post –impairment syndrome, a combination of pain, fatigue, and weakness due to muscle abnormalities, bone deformities, overuse syndromes (sometimes also called repetitive motion injuries), and arthritis.
Musculoskeletal abnormalities that may not produce discomfort during childhood can cause pain in adulthood. For example, the abnormal relationships between joint surfaces and excessive joint compression can lead to the early development of painful osteoarthritis and degenerative arthritis.
Issues related to pain often go unrecognized by health care providers since individuals with cerebral palsy may not be able to describe the extent or location of their pain. Pain can be acute or chronic, and is experienced most commonly in the hips, knees, ankles, and the upper and lower back. Individuals with spastic cerebral palsy have an increased number of painful sites and worse pain than those with other types of cerebral palsy.
NEED FOR CARE
Adults have higher than normal rates of other medical conditions secondary to their cerebral palsy, such as hypertension, incontinence, bladder dysfunction, and swallowing difficulties. People with cerebral palsy also have a higher incidence of bone fractures, occurring most frequently during physical therapy sessions. A combination of mouth breathing, poor hygiene, and abnormalities in tooth enamel increase the risk of cavities and periodontal disease. Many of the adults with cerebral palsy have vision problems, some have hearing problems.
Because many individuals with cerebral palsy outlive their primary caregiver, the issue of long-term care and support needs to be taken care of by the society at large.