Forty-two per cent of those aged 70 and older living in private dwellings reported having one or more disabilities—double the rate for those aged 15 to 69. (Black Press Media file photo)

Canadians with disabilities disproportionately hit by COVID-19 pandemic

More than four out of 10 British Columbians aged 70 and up have various disabilities

A report warns the COVID-19 pandemic may have a disproportionate effect on individuals with disabilities.

“Canadians with disabilities may be disproportionately impacted as they may be more likely to have underlying health conditions, or to rely on outside caregivers or support to help with their daily lives,” it reads. “Physical distancing measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 may also increase the overall vulnerability of Canadians with disabilities.”

The report from Statistics Canada shows individuals aged 60 and older account for one-third of COVID-19 cases nationally, a group also more likely to have disabilities compared with younger age groups. Forty-two per cent of those aged 70 and older (some 1.4 million Canadians) living in private dwellings reported having one or more disabilities – double the rate for those aged 15 to 69 (20 per cent). For British Columbia, the figure was 44 per cent, slightly above the national average.

While local figures concerning individuals with disabilities were less readily available, the Saanich Peninsula ranks among the oldest regions in Canada. Individuals aged 60 and older account for 49.6 per cent of the population in Sidney, 42.4 per cent in North Saanich, and 34.1 per cent in Central Saanich.

RELATED: Tablet donation connects Saanich Peninsula seniors to family and friends

The report warns, among other things, about the effects of social isolation. “Isolation measures, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, may have an increased impact on the overall well-being of persons with disabilities,” it reads. “Over one-quarter (28 per cent) of Canadians reported living alone in 2016, making it the most common household type nationally. Among the 6.2 million Canadians aged 15 and older with disabilities in 2017, 1.3 million (21 per cent) reported that they lived alone.”

For Canadians with disabilities, ‘staying at home’ is not necessarily a new concept. According to Statistics Canada, just over 770,000 Canadians with disabilities considered themselves housebound because of their respective conditions.

Canadians with disabilities often lack the resources to stay in touch, at least virtually. While just over 90 per cent of Canadians used the Internet in 2018, about one-fifth of Canadians with disabilities said that they did not use the Internet, making it more challenging to stay informed and connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Local kayakers and canoers paddle Kootenay for World Rivers Day

SUBMITTED World Rivers Day — a day to appreciate and clean up… Continue reading

Aquatic Centre to remain closed

City Council decides to keep pool closed until guidelines make it feasible to reopen safely

Steelworkers Local 1-405 hosts barbecue for City of Kimberley members

The union is embarking on negotiations with the City of Kimberley for a new collective agreement

Cranbrook and Kimberley Councils support initiative calling on BC Gov. to cover prescription contraception

On September 14, 2020, Cranbrook City Council unanimously passed a motion calling… Continue reading

Nine new COVID-19 cases announced in Interior Health region

The total number of cases since the pandemic started is now at 531 for the region

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

U.S. boater fined $1,000 for violation of Quarantine Act

49-year-old man entered Canada to visit girlfriend in Surrey

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

B.C. VOTES 2020: Businesses now owe $6 billion in deferred tax payments

COVID-19 relief from remittance to province ends with September

Long-term care study credits fewer COVID deaths in B.C. than Ont. to funding, policy

The study was published Wednesday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal

Metis pilot Teara Fraser profiled in new DC Comics graphic novel of women heroes

The Canadian pilot’s entry is titled: ‘Teara Fraser: Helping Others Soar’

Most Read