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Keys to ensuring the health and well-being of people with intellectual disabilities

Keys to ensuring the health and well-being of people with intellectual disabilities

Health workers share the keys to ensuring the health and well-being of people with intellectual disabilities

Health workers share the keys to ensuring the health and well-being of people with intellectual disabilities

Health experts have explained how to treat atypical symptoms that can occur and consult a doctor. People with intellectual disabilitiesWithout naturalizing them. They are essential for the health and well-being of these people, as well as the prevention of disease.

This is what they said at the third “health conferences” that I organized Below Madridin collaboration with the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation, which was held this week at the 3Olivos Center, with the aim of allowing family members to ask professionals in person about doubts and inquiries that arise regarding health issues related to People with intellectual disabilities.

The event included interventions presented by:

  • Pilar Garcia, Medical Director of the Jerome Lejeune Foundation, who spoke about sleep disorders and their impact on life;
  • María del Carmen Ortega, a psychiatrist at the University of Navarra, took a look at mental health;
  • Rosa Guajardo Fajardo, family physician at the Jerome Lejeune Foundation, who addressed issues related to women's health
  • Ignacio Egea, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Down Madrid
  • Elena Escalona, ​​General Manager of Down Madrid
  • Paola Martinelli, Down Madrid's technical director, Paola Martinelli
  • Pablo Siegrist, Director General of the Jerome Lejeune Foundation

Mental health among people with disabilities

First, Dr. Pilar Garcia began her presentation by talking about the importance of good sleep for health. He noted that “sleep is a very dynamic process in which many cells of the body function and on which the well-being of the body depends.” In this context, he explained that if a person does not sleep well, he may, among other symptoms, be more susceptible to irritation, lose the ability to concentrate, and become more nervous. In addition, the risk of obesity is greater, because it reduces the hormone leptin, “which is the hormone that generates a feeling of fullness.” For this reason, it is recommended to take a detailed clinical history of the patient, in addition to performing subjective and objective studies in order to obtain a global and personal view of the condition.

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Health workers share the keys to ensuring the health and well-being of people with intellectual disabilities

Regarding mental health in People with intellectual disabilitiesDr. Maria del Carmen Ortega indicated that mental health must be understood as a state of human emotional and psychological well-being to manage stress and emotions, allowing for the establishment of healthy relationships, as well as adaptation to certain changes. “Our emotional state is not a fixed line. This fluctuates with variations throughout life, so we must differentiate between changes that are pathological emotional changes and changes that may be normal and proportional to the reality from which they are derived,” he noted. In this sense, in the case of people with intellectual disabilities , recommended not normalizing some behaviors, working on their identity and self-esteem, setting goals that fit their abilities and strengthening relationships in inclusive environments and among equals.

The importance of listening to people with disabilities

For her part, Dr. Rosa Guajardo Fajardo expressed, during her intervention on gynecological diseases in… Women with intellectual disabilities, The importance of screening to prevent breast and cervical cancer, as recommended for the rest of the population. Likewise, warning symptoms may occur to refer the person for counselling, such as amenorrhea, oligomenorrhea or dysmenorrhea. Furthermore, she highlighted that in the case of women with Down syndrome, it is important to keep in mind that “menopause is about four or six years earlier than in women without it.” inability This, in turn, increases the risk of osteoporosis.

In short, experts agreed on the importance of listening People with disabilitiesMonitor them and maintain an open and continuous dialogue with them so that they can learn as much as possible about their symptoms and be able to detect important changes that require medical attention in a timely manner, giving them the importance they need and not associating them with disabilities per se.

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Finally, Pablo Siegrist made the health services provided by the Jerome Lejeune Foundation available to people with Down Syndrome and their families, and thanked Down Madrid for having the Foundation to implement such initiatives.