2013-04-18 / Front Page

The Arc of Monmouth to offer free health screenings

TINTON FALLS — The Arc of Monmouth will begin to offer free health screenings for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), including Down syndrome, autism and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

The screenings are funded by a grant as part of The Arc’s HealthMeet Wellness Program, which funds free health screenings. The grant is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Over the next several months, The Arc will offer the free health screenings at The Arc Center on Wayside Road, Tinton Falls.

HealthMeet screenings are not meant to replace any routine and regular medical checkups, according to a press release. The screenings are assessments of a person’s wellness and provide information about healthy living and better nutrition.

Clinically trained professionals will take vital signs such as height, weight, body mass index, pulse and blood pressure readings. Respiration will be assessed along with vision and hearing. A simple dental review and an assessment of the physical condition of feet, along with any mobility concerns, will be conducted. If any health concerns are uncovered as part of this screening, participants will be given that information to share with their physician.

According to Mary Scott, executive director of The Arc of Monmouth, the “data collected from all screenings across the United States will provide medical professionals with a better understanding of the health care needs of people with disabilities.”

The individuals screened will also receive a gift bag with healthy goodies.

“People with I/DD are prone to more problems with their teeth, eyes and ears,” Kristen Creed, director of health services at The Arc of Monmouth, said. “They may also not eat the right foods or get enough exercise.

Barriers also exist, which include not being able to communicate their needs or concerns with health care providers who may not have experience caring for individuals with I/DD.”

Individuals with I/DD can sign up for a screening. For more information, call 732- 493-1919, ext. 800.

The Arc of Monmouth is a nonprofit organization providing healthcare, residential services, education, employment and vocational training, recreation and other services to more than 1,400 individuals with I/DD and their families.

To learn more, visit arcofmonmouth.org.

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