Better Preventive Health Needed for Adults with IDD
Compared to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) nationally, adults with IDD in New Hampshire (NH) are more likely to live in a rural area.
They are more likely to live in their own home, with family, or in a foster home.
Other adults with IDD live in urban areas and in institutions or group homes.
4 in 10 live in a rural area in NH
compared to 3 in 10 nationally
7 in 10 live on their own, with family, or in a foster home in NH
compared to 4 in 10 nationally
Health Indicators for Adults with IDD in NH
In NH, many adults with IDD need support to get preventive health care and engage in healthy behaviors. Preventive health care includes regular visits with a provider to screen for health issues and share health information.
3 in 10 self-report their health as fair or poor
1 in 10 are current smokers
1 in 10 report no physical activity
4 in 10 are obese
"Disability doesn't have to equal poor health.
Staying healthy is a challenge for everyone!
The key to good health is access and good support."
- Kathy, a NH resident with a disability
Preventive Health Care Needs of Adults with IDD in NH
Compared to adults with IDD nationally, adults with IDD in NH are less likely to get some health screenings:
3 in 10 have not seen a dentist in 1 year or more compared to 2 in 10 nationally
5 in 10 have not had a vision test in 1 year or more compared to 4 in 10 nationally
6 in 10 have not had a hearing test in 5 years or more compared to 4 in 10 nationally
There are many strategies for health care providers, public health professionals, caregivers, and adults with IDD themselves that can help improve access to preventive health care.
Strategies to Improve Preventive Health for Adults with IDD:
- Focus health promotion and preventive health efforts in the community to reach adults with IDD where they live and help close gaps in care;
- Educate people with IDD and caregivers about the importance of preventive health care and healthy behaviors;
- Adapt physical activity and nutrition programs to make sure they are inclusive of people with different disabilities. The National Center on Health, Physical Activity, and Disability has many resources;
- Recruit people with disabilities into existing health programs by partnering with local organizations such as the NH Council on Developmental Disabilities, New Hampshire Family Voices, and Granite State Independent Living;
- Use plain language, graphics, and large print for appointment reminders, vaccine notifications, and other health promotion materials;
- Contact the NH Disability & Public Health Project with questions or for technical assistance.