People with disabilities are three times as likely to suffer from depression, while overall health quality is severely compromised compared to their able-bodied peers, new data has revealed.
A Central Statistics Office (CSO) survey on health among citizens with disabilities found 43% reporting some form of depression, compared to the state average of 14%.
For people over 55 with disabilities, difficulties doing tasks that able-bodied people take for granted were starkly laid out.
Almost 80% reported difficulties with household activities like housework, with more than one-third reporting difficulties with personal care activities like bathing or showering or getting in or out of a bed or chair, the CSO survey showed.
The challenges faced by people with disabilities were further compounded when it came to receiving help, according to the survey.
Some 26% of people with disabilities reported unmet healthcare needs due to waiting lists, which is higher than the state average of 14% of over 15s.
Unmet healthcare needs due to waiting times, transportation issues and affordability reasons are at higher levels in the population with disabilities than those without, the survey found.
People aged 15 years and over with disabilities are three times more likely to report some form of depression (43%) compared to the State average (14%)https://t.co/YLhjq6lcdX #CSOIreland #Ireland #Health #HSE #IrishHealthSurvey pic.twitter.com/enb7gQ38Oe— Central Statistics Office Ireland (@CSOIreland) December 14, 2020
People with disabilities reported a poorer health status than the state average across several areas, the CSO said.
Just over 25% with disabilities reported their health status as ’bad or very bad’, compared to a state average of 4%.
Of persons with disabilities, those that had difficulty remembering or concentrating, or who could not do so at all, reported the poorest mental health status, the survey found.
Some 31% of this disability group reported they had moderately severe or severe depression.
Apart from mental health, people with walking difficulties report the poorest health status of those with disabilities.
Physical and sensory difficulties measures in the report related to seeing, even when wearing glasses or contact lenses, and hearing a conversation in both quiet and noisier rooms, even with a hearing aid.
They also included difficulty in walking 500 metres on level ground, without the use of any aid; difficulty in walking up or down 12 steps; and difficulty in remembering or concentrating.