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Treating Aging Adults With Cerebral Palsy

presented by Cynthia N. Potter

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Cynthia N. Potter receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Non-Financial: Cynthia N. Potter has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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Video Runtime: 59 Minutes; Learning Assessment Runtime: 40 Minutes

Individuals aging with cerebral palsy have specific problems unique to this diagnosis. Depending on the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) level and a wide variety of secondary problems that may be present, the course of aging for these individuals is quite variable. As more individuals with cerebral palsy live longer and more independently in community settings, physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, occupational therapists, and occupational therapy assistants in all settings are likely to encounter these patients. An understanding of unique diagnosis-related issues that can occur is key to developing effective interventions and health promotion strategies to support a higher quality of life and maximize function for these individuals. This course will cover the common characteristics and clinical issues that can impact function in those with cerebral palsy, including common orthopedic problems, muscle development, and the role of physical activity.

Meet Your Instructor

Cynthia N. Potter, PT, MS, DPT

Cindy Potter, PT, MS, DPT, has worked with children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in many different practice settings, including early intervention, outpatient, preschool, school, community-based settings, and ICF/IDD facilities for 39 years. She earned a BS in biology and English writing from Allegheny College, an MS in health-related professions (developmental disabilities track)…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Age-Related Orthopedic Issues

This chapter describes how the aging process interacts with the motor disorder of cerebral palsy to affect the bones. This section will identify the common bony deformities and explain the management of bone problems in those with cerebral palsy. Additionally, this chapter will also discuss the role of pain, musculoskeletal problems, and fatigue related to function with those who have this condition.

2. Age-Related Muscular Issues

This chapter describes muscle structure differences in the individuals with cerebral palsy and the role of strengthening, aerobic, and stretching exercise on function throughout their lifespan. The role of exercise related to cardiovascular fitness, psychosocial wellness, and quality of life is discussed.

3. Osteoporosis and Fracture Risk

This chapter will describe movement problems associated with how cerebral palsy alters bones and one's weight-bearing ability throughout their lifespan. Along with other factors such as medication, metabolic/endocrine considerations, and nutrition, this can lead to low bone density and increased fracture risk. This chapter will review the factors that impact bone density and fractures and will review current research. Strategies to maintain bone density will be reviewed.

4. Case Study: Developing a Plan of Care to Maintain Physical Activity and Motor Function

The case studies in this chapter will demonstrate the incorporation of intervention strategies based on the specific problems and characteristics of individuals with cerebral palsy. Case studies of two individuals with different GMFCS levels will be presented. The use of the case study as evidence is described based on Sackett’s hierarchy.

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Aging Adults With Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities: Overview

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Individuals aging with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are living longer than previous generations and their numbers are increasing. Physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, occupational therapists, and occupational therapist assistants in all settings are likely to encounter those with I/DD as patients. There is a need to understand the unique differences in the aging process as compared with aging in the typical population. The ability to recognize the specific functional, medical, cognitive, and psychosocial problems that may occur is key to effectively treat and develop appropriate health promotion strategies is to support a high quality of life for individuals with I/DD. The World Health Organization notes that as more people with IDD age, health care needs increase and further disparities in functional impairment, morbidity, and mortality can occur. This course will cover the common characteristics and clinical issues associated with aging in this population and appropriate physical activity and fall prevention strategies that may be appropriate for this population.

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Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
Video Runtime: 83 Minutes; Learning Assessment Runtime: 39 Minutes

Individuals aging with genetic causes of intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) such as Down syndrome and autism spectrum disorders have specific problems unique to these diagnoses. As more individuals with Down syndrome and autism live longer, and as the numbers of those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders have increased, physical therapists and physical therapy assistants in all settings are likely to encounter these patients. An understanding of unique diagnosis-related issues that occur is key to developing effective interventions and health promotion strategies to support a high quality of life and maximize function in these individuals. This course will cover the common characteristics and clinical issues, with a focus on Down syndrome and autism spectrum disorders.

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