The overall rate of disability among Canadians jumped from 12.4% in 2001 to 14.3% in 2006. Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Diane Finlay's report "Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities 2009" attributes that to the aging Canadian population.
The statistics from the 2006 Statistics Canada survey show the percentage of senior Canadians with disabilities rose to 43% of Canadian seniors in 2006. More than 2 out of five seniors have a disability.
The report says people with disabilities have needs related to assistive devices like wheelchairs and hearing aids, home modifications, caregivers and help with everyday activities, transportation and access to information.
31.8% of senior with disabilities have unmet needs according to the report.
On PEI those numbers are higher since the Province of PEI stops funding most disabled services at age 65.
The majority of services for the disabled are covered under the PEI Provincial Disability Support Program which excludes anyone from applying once they reach their 65th birthday.
In Finlay's report, seniors said that cost was the reason 44% didn't have the assistive devices and aids they needed.
On Prince Edward Island cost reduction for assistive devices is denied seniors based on their age alone.
The Federal government is predicting that Canada's aging population will grow both the numbers and percentage of Canadians with disabilities who are over age 65.
"The recent study of PEI's disability population ignored the problem of seniors with disabilities,"
"The Minister of Social Services and Seniors sponsored the report which ignores the needs of 8,900 seniors with disabilities living on PEI," added Pate.
"Islanders will continue to age and develop disabilities. They may want to question why the Province will not provide assistance to them that it provides to those 64 years of age and younger."
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PEI Disability Alert is a not-for-profit corporation which advocates on behalf of 22,000 people on Prince Edward Island with disabilities through education and public awareness.