Published by SilverCentury.org | April 5, 2023
By some estimates, as many as 60 million Americans of all ages are living with a disability. About 36 percent of people aged 65 and older report having at least one disability, according to the US Census. Rates of disability increase greatly in very old age; the majority of those 85 or older are unable to perform all activities of daily living without help.
Many older adults will eventually deal with a temporary or permanent, age-related disability, whether it’s vision loss, hearing loss or reduced mobility, or issues such as fatigue or constant pain due to chronic illness.
“It can be traumatic,” said Kimberly Knight, director of the caregiver support program at the Senior Source, a nonprofit social services agency in Dallas. “It can mean giving up a level of independence that the person has been accustomed to for some time.”