Holistic Health

The Holistic Health Program is designed to improve health and wellness of all SOS program participants, staff, and families. This includes educating staff and program participants about healthy food options, implementing exercise into the programs, providing tips for better physical and mental health, conducting "Family Health Days," and more. This program will enhance all of our programs to reflect healthy lifestyle changes at SOS Health Care and in the home and community settings. 

Health and Wellness Policy for SOS Health Care

Background

According to the CDC, the prevalence of obesity among adults with disabilities is more than 50% higher than adults without disabilities.  The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities report the usual care diet has not been effective for this population.  Females are more than twice as likely to be obese as males. The increased rate of Type ll Diabetes has been concurrent with the increased prevalence of obesity.  Childhood obesity is also a serious problem in the United States, putting kids at risk for poor health. Despite recent declines in the prevalence among preschool-aged children, obesity amongst all children is still too high. 

In addition to the issue of obesity, comorbid health problems such as cardiovascular disease, are highest amongst those with disabilities.  Individuals with Autism and intellectual disabilities frequently face issues with anxiety, depression, and other mood related disorders.  These can be further compounded by a lack of exercise as exercise is useful to release endorphins and improve mood.

According to the CDC, people with disabilities can find it more difficult to eat healthy, control their weight, and be physically active. This might be due to:

  • A lack of healthy food choices.
  • Difficulty with chewing or swallowing food, or its taste or texture.
  • Medications that can contribute to weight gain, weight loss, and changes in appetite.
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    Physical limitations that can reduce a person’s ability to exercise.
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    Pain.
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    A lack of energy.
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    A lack of accessible environments (for example, sidewalks, parks, and exercise equipment) that can enable exercise.
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    A lack of resources (for example, money, transportation, and social support from family, friends, neighbors, and community members).

The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Improve the Health and Wellness of Persons with Disabilities includes goals such as:

  • GOAL 1: People nationwide understand that persons with disabilities can lead long, healthy, productive lives.
  • GOAL 2: Health care providers have the knowledge and tools to screen, diagnose and treat the whole person with a disability with dignity.
  • GOAL 3: Persons with disabilities can promote their own good health by developing and maintaining healthy lifestyles.
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    GOAL 4: Accessible health care and support services promote independence for persons with disabilities.

Recommendations for Health and Wellness

  • Get medical and dental care for prevention
  • Don’t go into work sick or send your child in to a program sick
  • Engage in fun physical activities
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    Get 15 minutes of sunshine daily
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    Don’t smoke
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    Get enough sleep, at least 8 hours per night
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    Schedule regular downtime
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    Take real vacations
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    Set personal improvement goals for myself
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    Read books or articles not related to work
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    Do something new
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    Take classes such as cooking, art or music
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    Sing out loud
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    Use a brain training or memory app
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    Set boundaries with toxic or negative people
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    Laugh out loud
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    Regroup when you’re angry
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    Meditate
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    Make music
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    Doodle or color
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    Spend time in nature
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    Be optimistic and hopeful
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    Schedule time with friends
  • Stay in touch with important people in my life
  • Call at least one friend a week
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    Enlarge my social circle
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    Make a meal with a friend
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    Drink 8 glasses of water per day
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    Walk 8,000 steps per day
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    Decrease your sugar content
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    Watch your salt intake
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    Create your own self-care plan
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    Use the Choose my plate resources and get your own MyPlate plan
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    Have dinner with friends and family regularly
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    Avoid processed foods
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    Eat fruit, vegetables, protein, dairy and grain every day
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    Follow your special diet according to your health and Dr.’s recommendations
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    Remember to take your medications
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    Use adaptive equipment if needed for meals or exercise
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    Use apps for meal planning, exercise, meditation
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    Exercise with family and friends
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    Join a Gym
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    Turn off the TV
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    Follow SOS Health Care, Inc. on Facebook for recipes, exercises and tips

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