Unique Challenges in Identifying Cardiac Emergency’s for People with I/DD
February is not only the month of love but also a time to focus on heart health. This Heart Month, In Flight, Inc. is shedding light on an often-overlooked aspect of cardiovascular well-being—individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). According to the National Institutes of Health, this community faces a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
Understanding the Statistics
The statistics are sobering. By the age of 39, the cumulative incidence of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) for individuals with intellectual disabilities stands at 17.3%, compared to 12.7% for those without intellectual disabilities (NIH). This emphasizes the importance of proactive measures to ensure heart health in individuals with I/DD.
Learning Healthy Living Skills
At In Flight, we believe in empowering individuals with I/DD to maintain healthy hearts through practical skills. Our focus includes:
- Nutrition and Healthy Eating: Incorporating lessons on balanced diets into our day program curriculum’s and each individuals home environment.
- Physical Activity: Connecting with the community to explore inclusive ways for individuals to stay physically active.
- Weight Management: Developing individualized plans to address weight concerns and promote overall well-being.
- Stress Management: Exploring educational opportunities to equip individuals with tools for stress management.
Challenges of Identifying Cardiac Emergencies
Recognizing cardiac emergencies in individuals with I/DD presents unique challenges. Many may be non-verbal, making it crucial for staff to understand visual signs such as chest rubbing, grimacing, changes in activity, difficulty breathing, or an imbalance. In Flight is dedicated to overcoming these challenges through education and awareness.
Enhancing Emergency Response
As part of our comprehensive approach, In Flight is raising funds to install Automated External Defibrillator (AED) devices in all our locations. AEDs are crucial in cardiac emergencies, and our initiative aims to increase response times, especially for individuals with I/DD.
Join Us in Nurturing Hearts
We invite you to support our initiative by contributing to our fundraiser. Every donation brings us closer to installing AED devices across all our locations and ensuring the safety and well-being of those we serve.
Together, let’s nurture hearts and create a healthier, safer future for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.