Falkirk's disabled population feel full impact of COVID-19
New research has revealed people with learning difficulties and those with disabilities are at greater risk of dying from the coronavirus.
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) collated data on people with a medically diagnosed learning disability and found the risk of death involving COVID-19 was 3.7 times greater for both men and women compared with people who did not have a learning disability.
According to the study three in five of all COVID-19-related deaths are disabled people, with those with disabilities accounting for just 17.2 per cent of the ONS study population but 60 per cent of the coronavirus deaths.
Kaleidoscope Group, an organisation which seeks to empower those with disabilities, stated the disabled community had been disproportionately affected throughout the pandemic.
Other circumstances, including preexisting health conditions, made some difference to the risk for people with learning disabilities, but the largest effect was associated with living in a care home or other communal establishment.
Michael Green, of Kaleidoscope Group, said: “The size of the issue from our perspective is that over 22 per cent of the global population has been impacted more significantly than other parts of the world."
"It is my belief the community and disabled community should be embraced and nurtured with greater care and investment. COVID 19 has impacted every family, country and community in the world, with our economies being impacted in an unprecedented way.
"However, through the wonders of communication, the disabled community represent a team of people who can benefit our communities and businesses around the world through their personal understanding and talents that really understand and nurture care and potential, with added value in our world.”
ONS figures suggest disabled women are more affected by the pandemic than disabled men, with data showing that between January 24 and November 20 last year, the risk of death from COVID-19 was 3.5 times greater for disabled women compared with non-disabled women and was 3.1 times greater for disabled men compared with non-disabled men.
While no single factor explains the considerably raised risk of death involving COVID-19 among disabled people, Kaleidoscope Group believes the main reason for raised risk is disabled people are increasingly exposed to a range of unfavourable circumstances compared with non-disabled people.