Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Breaking: New Statistics on Older Americans With Disabilities 2008 - 2012

Logo of the American Community Survey, a proje...
Logo of the American Community Survey, a project of the United States Census Bureau. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The U S Census Bureau has issued a report on Older Americans With Disabilities.  This is relevant to us because one of the goals of special education is independent living for persons with disabilities after they "graduate" from special education. The report examines disability status by age, sex and selected socio-economic characteristics, such as marital status, living arrangement, educational attainment and poverty status. You can read the full report here.

Here are the highlights from the press release:
Nearly 40 percent of people age 65 and older had at least one disability, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report that covered the period 2008 to 2012. Of those 15.7 million people, two-thirds of them say they had difficulty in walking or climbing.
  Difficulty with independent living, such as visiting a doctor’s office or shopping, was the second-most cited disability, followed by serious difficulty in hearing, cognitive difficulty, difficulty bathing or dressing, and serious difficulty seeing.
  While populous states such as California, Florida, New York and Texas had the largest number of older people with a disability, high disability rates were seen in Southern counties, especially in central Appalachia and the Mississippi Delta.
·          More than half (54.4 percent) of the older population who had not graduated from high school had a disability, twice the rate of those with a bachelor’s degree or higher (26.0 percent). This inverse relationship between educational attainment and likelihood of having a disability was found across age, sex, race and Hispanic origin.
·          More than one-third of those 85 and older with a disability lived alone, compared with one-fourth of those age 65 to 74.
·          About 13 percent of the older household population with a disability lived in poverty; in contrast, 7 percent of those without a disability were in poverty.
·          The older population with a disability was disproportionately concentrated among those 85 and older. This group represented 13.6 percent of the total older population but accounted for 25.4 percent of the older population with a disability.
·          Women 65 and older were more likely than men 65 and older to have five of the six types of disability included in the American Community Survey, especially ambulatory difficulty. Older women’s higher rates for disability are, in part, because women live longer.
·          Older men’s higher likelihood for having a hearing disability may reflect the lifelong occupational differentials between men and women, where men may be more likely to have worked in industries that cause noise-induced hearing loss.
·          Disability rates were lower for married older people than for those widowed or in other categories of marital status.

#disability, #IndependentLiving

1 comment:

  1. Wow these numbers are much higher than I thought they were. I can see how, with age, individuals find themselves developing disabilities. With such high numbers, are there programs to support the need? Do you know of any programs in the central California area that provide services?
    M.P. (concerned daughter of an adult with hearing loss)