Healthcare professionals, parents and caregivers may play the most important role in reducing risk factors for diminished life expectancy. Parents and caregivers spend the most time with the child, know his or her everyday needs, and seek options on how best to fulfill the needs. Parents and caregivers can also assist the primary care physician in identifying, tracking and recording a child’s condition, progress, and areas of concern. The use of a care plan can help parents and caregivers identify goals, implement treatment plans, and maintain records. Every child’s condition is unique, and primary care physicians, therefore, evaluate and prioritize goals and treatment based on the individual – not the dysfunction. Parents and caregivers can take certain common steps to optimize the child’s care and quality-of-life.
- Set and commit to treatment goals with the child’s primary care physician.
- Begin treatment and therapy as soon as possible; early intervention can improve outcome.
- Be aware. Life-threatening complications can develop any time, but awareness allows caregivers to recognize and minimize these factors, act promptly and seek assistance when necessary.
General care plan goals to optimize life expectancy and manage cerebral palsy include:
- Optimize mobility
- Manage primary conditions
- Control pain
- Prevent and manage complications, associative conditions and co-mitigating factors
- Maximize independence
- Enhance social and peer interactions
- Foster self-care
- Maximize communication
- Maximize learning potential
- Enhance quality-of-life
Actively seek solutions to health symptoms, especially:
- Cognitive functioning
- Vision impairment
- Hearing impairment
- Respiratory functioning