Americans who live long lives are very likely to suffer from severe disability during their latter years, and those disabilities may require caregiving. This is also true for those persons who remain in good health during their senior years.
According to a study based on more than 8,200 Americans, more than one out of every three seniors will experience disability in the last few years of their lives. The disability will significantly impact the senior’s ability to perform routine activities like dressing themselves, feeding themselves, or even getting out of bed. These persons may need caregivers to help with these activities.
Another smaller study based on 491 senior citizens also resulted in similar findings. This study found that disability intensifies during the last few months of a senior’s life. Approximately 5 months before death, a senior required more help with routine activities due to the disability, and as many as 27% of the seniors in the study needed such help. In the months just before dying, about 57% of the senior citizens required help with daily activities.
People often believe that it’s only persons with devastating diseases like cancer, who suffer from disability during the latter years of their life. The new studies however find that this is not so at all. Even healthy persons may find that their ability to perform routine functions is severely hampered by disability during the last few days of their lives.
The issue of how Social Security Disability Benefits will help an increasingly aging population of Americans is likely to become more and more important in the days ahead. According to data, the number of senior citizens in the country who are above the age of 85 is expected to increase by as much as three times over the next four years alone. In 2008, there were 5.4 million people of that age in this country, and that number is likely to spike to 19 million by the year 2050.
M. Stanley Whitehead is a Houston Social Security disability benefits lawyer, committed to representing persons who have had their disability claims rejected, and helping them recover the benefits that are rightfully theirs. If you have had your Social Security claim denied, contact me for a consultation.