Major Health Risks In Aging Persons With Intellectual Disabilities 

Aging people with intellectual disabilities experience a variety of diseases. Some studies show they suffer from cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, and oral health issues. The cause of the illness primarily depends on the person's condition. That is why different individuals face different health problems. Aging people with intellectual disabilities need proper healthcare facilities to avoid severe issues. There should be a monthly or quarterly schedule of health checkups for those people. This way, it can reduce the risk of getting severe problems. 

What Are Some Common Health Problems In People With Intellectual Disabilities?

Health problems in people with intellectual disabilities remain concealed. It is because many people only focus on managing their struggles related to intellectual disabilities. They are usually involved in learning the strategies to live independently. Studies show that there are some common health issues people face. These include epilepsy, skin infections, ear problems, constipation, insomnia,  and acute upper respiratory tract infection. 

All these health issues are not challenging to detect. But aged people with intellectual disabilities must consider a regular checkup schedule to get information regarding their health-related risks. If you know someone with an intellectual disability, you should encourage their close people or caretakers for the checkups. As a result, there will be fewer cases of health risks among aged people with intellectual disabilities. 

What Changes Occur With Age In Adults With Intellectual Disabilities?

People with intellectual disabilities go through many changes in their lives. It occurs when they age with time. Mental retardation is responsible for the same. 

Growing older always comes up with various health issues. However, it is a bit difficult for individuals with intellectual disabilities. They already lack cognitive and developmental skills. Common changes that occur in them after a specific age cause many issues. These include hearing problems, eyesight issues, lower immune systems, etc. Joint problems will also appear in various areas of the body in people with intellectual disabilities. 

Some people also experience seizures in their old age. Cardiovascular problems arise as people grow old. In short, everything that older people face is experienced by those people. The only difference is that they have to deal with mental health issues as well. 

Intellectual disabilities are of various types. A type of disability also says a lot about the health problems that they will experience in old age. So, you must first determine which type of intellectual disability it is and work on it accordingly. 

Health professionals claim that the mental condition stops the normal aging process in many individuals. There is no confirmation on the same point. 

Caretakers or family members of an individual with intellectual disabilities should find methods to reduce the risk of diseases. The doctor will suggest some techniques to manage someone with intellectual disabilities. Most of the time, people ignore that an aging process works similarly for everyone. 

What Are The Three Areas Of Concern Associated With Intellectual Disabilities?

Medical professionals always consider three areas of concern to find whether a person has an intellectual disability or not. 

  • Intellectual functioning: Intellectual functioning involves learning, understanding, reasoning, problem-solving and more abilities of an individual. An IQ test is a perfect measure of a person's intellectual functioning. The test score will help determine the level of intellectual disability a person is struggling with. 
  • Adaptive behavior: Adaptive behavior includes all those skills a person needs for everyday tasks. Some examples of adaptive behavior are socializing, dressing up, cleaning, understanding the rules, avoiding danger, and more. People with intellectual disabilities lack adaptive skills that stop them from doing various things. But they can learn these skills by using the tested techniques by health professionals. 
  • Developmental/Educational performance: An individual's educational performance reveals a lot about their mental capability. People with intellectual disabilities find it challenging to learn and understand educational stuff. Apart from that, they cannot also make certain life decisions. 

Does Intellectual Disability Get Worse With Age?

It depends on the cause of the intellectual disability. But in most cases, it has been seen that an intellectual disability gets worse as one grows old. Aged people with this condition often suffer loneliness, isolation, intense emotions, etc. So, everything becomes overwhelming for them. The level of the disability also plays a significant role in that. 


Aging affects almost every individual. But it is an entirely different experience for someone with an intellectual disability. All the changes in the body can create health issues that make their lives more challenging. It is, therefore, essential to find ways to reduce the symptoms at an early stage.