Medical & Allied Health Professionals Overview
As more people with physical disabilities are getting older and the funding options for people with physical disabilities expand, health professionals are seeing more and more people with physical disabilities. It has been known for several decades by those working with adults with disabilities that there was a gap in the knowledge base of health professionals working with adults with disabilities.
The late effects of disabilities are now becoming very apparent for those with physical disabilities. There is a common theme of pain, fatigue, illness, gross deformity development and functional decline. Clinicians and researchers alike across the world acknowledge that a lifespan approach to supporting people with physical disabilities is vital in achieving goals and improving outcomes later in life. The ultimate goal being that people with physical disabilities continue to do what they want to do across their lifespan.
From a service and cost point of view, it is likely that the cost of supporting the late effects of disability later in life will be far greater than proactively supporting people across their lifespan. Timely support at specific points across the lifespan are more likely to be more effective and efficient across all therapy and health sectors than managing the major health problems experienced when no or limited supported has been provided.
The need for monitoring and maintenance programs with a team approach across the lifespan is extremely important for anyone with a physical disability.
This section details information that is important for all health professionals to know and understand when supporting people with physical disabilities. It is also strongly recommended that health professionals read all other sections on this website and review the reference list.