English French German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish
A partnership for communication on developmental disabilities issues in Washington state
Graphic Template Interior

Caregiver Alerts

Caregiver Alerts are developed and distributed by the Developmental Disabilities Administration to provide helpful information to both paid and unpaid care providers.   

Preventing the Flu: The best tool for preventing flu is the flu vaccine and the best time to get a flu shot is from early October to mid-November. The flu shot can be given at any point during the flu season, even if the virus has already begun to spread in your community. You need a flu shot yearly because the virus is constantly changing and new vaccines are developed annually to protect against new strains. Learn when flu shots are recommended. (Read this Alert). Posting date: December 29, 2014


Finanical Exploitation: When abuse happens, people with disabilities may not be believed, may not know what their rights are, or may be unable or afraid to complain. Learn the signs of financial exploitation and ways to protect someone from being exploited, and what to do if you suspect that it is happening (or has happened). Posting date: May 29, 2014 (Read this Alert)

Aspiration: Do you know that aspiration (food, liquids, saliva or other items either going into the airway instead of the stomach, or moving back up through the esophogus from the stomach and spilling into the person's airway) can be life threatening? Learn the signs and how to respond. Posting date: May 29, 2014. (Read this Alert)

Cancer Symptoms Women Ignore: The latest mortality data for people with developmental disabilities shows a greater number of women than men dying from cancer, which was the Number One cause of death. This Alert highlights possible symptoms of cancer women with developmental disabilities, as well as all women, should be aware of. Posting date: January 7, 2013. (Read this Alert)

Toxic Substances Alert - According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 87 people die is a result unintentional poisoning and another 2,277 are treated in emergency departments every day in the United States. If you are a caregiver (paid or unpaid) for a person with a developmental disability, the latest Caregiver Alert is a reminder of some of the dangerous substances that lurk in the "safety" of your own home and ways to avoid potential disaster. Posting date: May 16, 2012 (Read this Alert)

Whooping Cough Danger - Whooping Cough (Pertussis) is a serious and highly contagious respiratory disease that can cause long, violent coughing fits and a characteristic "whooping" sound when a person gasps for air. Whooping Cough has reached epidemic levels in Washington State. This Caregiver Alert has details about vaccination, the best way to prevent Whooping Cough. Posting date: April 18, 2012 (Read this Alert)

No Joking about Choking! - Each year 3,000 people in the United States die from choking. Choking and aspiration are common problems in persons with developmental disabilities. This caregiver alert focuses on common causes of choking and foods that often present choking hazards. Posting date: April 11, 2012 (Read this alert)

You Are In Charge! - This Caregiver Alert discusses emphasizes DDD clients' right to have people of their own choosing at their Individual Support Planning (ISP) Meeting. It also includes tips on things to consider when deciding whether or not a person should be invited to attend. Posting date: January 25, 2012 (Read this alert) In addition, it may be useful to review the DDD Assessment video done by Informing Families in 2010 and posted on our YouTube Channel. It explains the DDD Assessment process (at least at the time the video was done!) (Watch video on YouTube)

Emergencies Don't Wait for You - Be Prepared! This Caregiver Alert gives tips on preparing for emergencies for different types of disabilities and resources where you can get more information. Posting date: June 14, 2011. (Read this alert)

The Downside of Too Much Sun. When summer finally arrives, temperatures will go up and so will the risk of dehydration and sun stroke. This alert gives tips on preventing these conditions and what to do if they occur. Posting date: June 6, 2011. (Read this alert)

Children and Psychotropic Medications. The diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues in children with disabilities is difficult. Children with developmental disabilities are more likely to be prescribed psychotropic medications than other children. The Partnership Access line can help parents learn more. Posting date: September 28, 2010. (Read this in PDF)

Special Education Resources and College Options for Students with Developmental Disabilities: As kids get ready for back-to-school, parents may want to ensure their child is getting the best education possible. Our latest Caregiver Alert has resources that can you help connect your child to special education services if he or she is eligible as well as college opportunities for students with developmental disabilities.
Posting date: August 12, 2010. (Read alert in PDF | Word)

Hearing Problems in Young Children and Adults: With back-to-school physicals coming up, this latest Caregiver Alerts possible signs of hearing problems in children and in adults as well as what to do if you suspect a problem. Posting date: July 29, 2010. (Read this alert)

Stress Test - Do you Pass or Fail? This Alert can help you find out if you are experiencing stress and if you are, offers tips that can help you reduce or eliminate stress. Posting Date: June 7, 2010. (Read this alert)

The Red Flags of Change. This Alert focuses on helping caregivers identify if someone they care for may be having difficulty coping with life changes and tips on ways to positively handle problem behaviors that may occur as a result. Posting Date: April 29, 2010. (Read this alert)

Previous Provider Alerts
Past Provider Alerts developed by the Developmental Disabilities Administration give information geared toward care providers, but they also provide good information for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. The three latest alerts are below:

Fast Foods, A Fast Lane to Trouble: Everyday, one out of four Americans eats fast food. Even though fast food is often the cheapest option, it's not usually the healthiest. This DDD Caregiver alert provides tips for eating healthier and making smarter choices at fast food restaurants. (Read this alert)

How to Apply for Social Security Benefits: This alert discusses how to file an application for Social Security benefits for yourself or your child and what you can do to make the application process easier. (Read this alert)

Identifying and Preventing Aspiration Pneumonia: Aspiration leads to life threatening Pneumonia. This alert tells you what it is, how you can identify it and what you can do to prevent it. (Read this alert)

You can go to DDD's publications page for more Caregiver Alerts.