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)

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

A partial image from the painting Kanaka Creek by Eric Hotz, which in the exhibit at the Pitt Meadows Art Gallery.
A Study of Nature exhibition opens at Pitt Meadows Art Gallery

Eric Hotz paintings feature familiar scenes from across the Lower Mainland

Shannon Belsito took this photo on Thursday morning, indicating the true arrival of spring. “Feeling the inspiring beauty and freshness of spring with these gorgeous magnolia blossoms near Kanaka Creek that just popped after the rain.” (Special to The News)
SHARE: Spring has arrived in all its splendor

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon.

A small memorial to Rich Goulet was started at Pitt Meadows Secondary after his recent death. (Neil Corbett/The News)
LETTER: Rename Pitt Meadows school gym in coach’s honour

Rich Goulet was considered one of the provinces best basketball coaches and died recently

Doug Nolin, a Maple Ridge senior, snapped this picture of his pet pigeons taking flight down by the old Albion ferry dock. “What a beautiful land we live in,” he said. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Chirp, chirp: Ridge senior captures pigeons taking flight

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon.

Pamela Franklin captured this picture of a raccoon in Maple Ridge, “chilling” in her backyard, on her storage bin. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Lounging in the spring sun

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole to vote against Conservative MP’s private bill on ‘sex-selective abortion’

Erin O’Toole said he supports a woman’s right to choose and will personally vote against the private member’s bill

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Parliament Hill is viewed below a Canada flag in Gatineau, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians are feeling more grateful for what they have in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly in 2019: report

2019 report shows Canada emitted about one million tonnes more of these gases than the previous year

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Part of the massive mess left behind in a Spallumcheen rental home owned by Wes Burden, whose tenants bolted from the property in the middle of the night. Burden is now facing a hefty cleaning and repair bill as a result. (Photo submitted)
Tenants disappear in the night leaving Okanagan home trashed with junk, feces

Spallumcheen rental rooms filled with junk, human and animal feces; landlord scared to rent again

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to register people ages 40+ for COVID-19 vaccines in April

Appointments are currently being booked for people ages 66 and up

A volunteer disinfects a historical Mohabat Khan mosque ahead of the upcoming Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Friday, April 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Muhammad Sajjad)
For Canadian Muslims, second pandemic Ramadan is a time of hope and sadness

Many members of the association are trying to find ways ‘to help people stay connected to one another’

South Surrey farmland, March 2020. The province’s crackdown on secondary residences sparked protests that have the NDP government engaged in a lengthy rewrite of its legislation. (Tracy Holmes/Peace Arch News)
B.C. NDP now wants to keep even ‘non-farmers’ on the land

‘Grandfathering’ of second residences extended again

Most Read