Premature aging, employment challenges, depression, pain are just a few of the challenges adults with CP face. 
Employment Challenges 
The adults we work with at CPM have significant and substantial needs. They attend our daycentre not just because they have CP, it’s because of the severity of their needs along with having cerebral palsy or another related disability. Some of the needs include issues with: 
• Mobility – May require walking aids or assistance, wheelchairs or power chairs. 
• Hand co-ordination/ dexterity -May need assistance and support for activities that include their hands. 
• Assistance toileting – for some adult’s specialist facilities (Changing Place Facilities) are required with two staff supporting 
• Sensory impairments – sight, hearing 
• Communication – lack of speech, may use technical aid 
• Help feeding – some adults we work with difficulties with swallowing (dysphagia) and need assistance to have drinks and food. 
• Learning Difficulties 
• Mental Health conditions 
• Other disabilities, so some citizens may well have CP and another disability as well, such as, autism. 
Therefore, for the client group we work with, it has been too difficult for them to find employment opportunities that can support their significant needs at a workplace. And often, without having employment, our adults can feel socially isolated at home or where they reside. 
Our adults may need specific accommodations made for them to consider employment, such as; adjusted office space, toilet facilities (Changing Place Facilities that include a changing bed and ceiling track hoist), ramp and accessible building access, sometimes widened doors, perhaps an adjusted work schedule, assistive equipment and / or frequent rest periods. The adults may well need supported carer or carers with them as well. 
Premature aging 
Some adults with CP will experience some form of premature aging by the time they reach their 40s because of the extra stress and strain the disability puts upon their bodies. 
Mental health issues can also be of concern as someone with cerebral palsy grows older. The rate of depression is three to four times higher in people with disabilities such as cerebral palsy. Here at Cerebral Palsy Midlands we can help our adults and support their well-being with daily activities and lots of social and development opportunities. 
Post-impairment syndrome 
Cerebral Palsy can leave adults experiencing pain, fatigue, and weakness due to muscle abnormalities, bone deformities, overuse syndromes (sometimes also called repetitive motion injuries), and arthritis. Fatigue is often a challenge, since individuals with CP may use up to three to five times the amount of energy that able-bodied people use when they walk and move about. 
Osteoarthritis and degenerative arthritis 
Musculoskeletal abnormalities that may not produce discomfort during childhood can cause pain in adulthood. Individuals with CP also may have limited strength and restricted patterns of movement, which puts them at risk for overuse syndromes and nerve entrapments. 
Pain can be a problem for people with CP due to spastic muscles and the stress and strain on parts of the body that are compensating for muscle abnormalities. Individuals experience pain most in the hips, knees, ankles, and the upper and lower back. 
Other medical conditions for adults with CP include; 
• Hypertension 
• Incontinence 
• Bladder dysfunction 
• Swallowing difficulties (Dysphagia) 
Please let us know what you think by leaving a comment below. 
Blog written by Development Officer Sarah Lilly at Cerebral Palsy Midlands. 
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