Disabilities Outreach Guide

Sep 17, 2009

Many people with disabilities are living longer now with more modern and technological advances in health care, and need different kinds of care and support, particularly at the end of life. In addition, trends show that parents and caregivers of those with disabilities are not outliving their children as they historically did in most cases. With the changing trends, hospice providers need to be ready for to care for people with disabilities and their families as well as a child or adult with a disability whose parent is under their care.

  • In 2006, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 18% of the American population is disabled, with 12% being 'seriously disabled'. This makes disabled people America's largest minority community.
  • Approximately 14.3 million people reported serious mental illness related to cognitive functioning, included those diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, depression, and the mentally challenged. 72% of people over age 80 reported living with a disability.
  • According to a North Carolina study, persons with a disability were more likely to live with chronic diseases and less likely to have had treatment.
  • People with developmental disabilities are the less likely to receive quality healthcare. Because of their inability to make informed decisions, many times "potentially harmful or futile" actions are taken to attempt to keep the patient alive, or no care will be given at all.
  • Some physicians see more harm than good being taken from modern medicine increasing the lifespan of people living with developmental disabilities.
  • Compared to women without a disability, those with a physical or developmental disease are less likely to have seen a gynecologist, and 26.8% of women with developmental disabilities 40 and over have never received a mammogram as opposed to 13% of women without a disability.
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