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Improve the Health and Wellness of People with Disabilities

Health Care Provider:

You can do a lot to improve the health and wellness of people with disabilities. For instance, you can:

  • Address the medical needs of the whole person, not just the disability.
  • Be as attentive to concerns of pain, depression, job pressures, smoking and alcohol use as you are with all patients.
  • Be aware and patient of the extra time it might take a person with a disability to speak or act.
  • Recommend and monitor clinical preventive services as closely as will other patients.
  • Know that the facilities you refer patients to for preventive screenings (e.g., mammograms) are accessible.
  • Ensure that your facility is fully accessible (e.g., parking, exam tables, restrooms, etc).
  • Ask the person with a disability if he or she needs any help. Do not assume help is needed.
  • Understand that not having access to work, school, health care, or fun things to do can cause more problems than a disability itself.
  • Seek training on disability competence for health professionals.

 

Person with Disability:
Make Sure You are Getting the Best Possible Healthcare
There are also many things you can do to make sure you are getting the best possible health care:

  • Know your body, how you feel when you’re well and when you’re not.
  • Get regular preventive screenings (e.g., mammograms, prostate, colorectal)
  • Talk openly with your health care professional about your concerns.
  • Find out who the best health care professionals are in your area to meet your needs.
  • Check to be sure you can get into your health care professional’s office and that he or she has the staff and equipment you need.
  • Think through your concerns before you visit your health care professional.
  • Bring your health records with you.
  • Take a friend with you, if you’re concerned you might not remember all your questions and all the answers.
  • Get it in writing. Write down, or have someone write down for you, what is said by the health care professional.
  • Ask for help finding more information through materials like brochures, or at specific Web pages on the Internet.

 

Source: http://www.cdc.gov