Disabilities can be debilitating to your everyday life. It can affect virtually every aspect of one’s life, affecting their social, physical, and mental development. There are more than 4 million Canadians living with a disability, according to estimates by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). If one is disabled, thankfully, they are allowed to file a claim for long-term or short-term disability benefits.
According to the claims filed in Canada, these are some of the most common disabilities:
1. Pain (9.7% of disabilities)
Pain disability includes conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, and a wide variety of chronic pain conditions. Regarding pain, studies have shown women to be more likely to report being affected by pain rather than men. Approximately one in five Canadian adults suffer from disabilities related to chronic pain, to some degree.
2. Flexibility (7.6% of disabilities)
Lack of flexibility affects Canadians in some big ways, including negatively impacting their job performance and daily comfort level. If one’s limited in their daily activities because of a lack flexibility in one’s shoulders, back, or legs, this has serious consequences. This is one of the most common disabilities in Canada, affecting 7.6% of Canadians.
Please note, a disability like flexibility is only considered a disability once it’s been diagnosed as a long-term condition.
3. Mobility (7.2% of disabilities)
Mobility issues among Canadians is extremely common. Alongside pain and flexibility, these three disabilities usually walk hand-in-hand. Among the activities that mobility can complicate, eating and going to the bathroom can become near impossible tasks.
From a productivity and professional standpoint, it also sets up barriers that can easily prevent someone from fully participating.
4. Mental/psychological (3.9% of disabilities)
Although it is further down on the list than other selections, among Canadian youth aged 15 to 24, mental and psychological is the most commonly reported disability. Mental health-related disabilities can include conditions like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, anorexia, substance abuse, and any others that limit daily participation and activity.
5. Dexterity (3.5% of disabilities)
Dexterity is the ability to perform tasks, particularly with the hands. Examples might include catching a ball, the ability to brush one’s teeth, using a hand tool to build something, or having the ability to put something on the top shelf. When a person struggles with dexterity, it creates a sense of unreliability in which they cannot rely on themselves to perform tasks that their brain commands them to do.
6. Hearing (3.2% of disabilities)
Hearing, as a disability, can affect one’s personal and professional lives. Take away someone’s ability to hear and their communication skills instantly take a hit. Daily activities like watching television are forever changed. Listening to music is either downright impossible or very difficult, depending on the level of hearing loss one is struggling with. Thankfully, when you are living in Canada, hearing loss is considered a disability and someone with hearing loss may be entitled to receive disability benefits.
7. Seeing (2.7% of disabilities)
Living with a seeing disability is incredibly difficult. It means one can no longer drive. It eliminates or changes the way we think of going to places like the grocery store, to church, or even out for a walk. Any sort of visual entertainment unfortunately is rendered of no value to someone who can’t make out its details. Needless to say, adjusting to a seeing disability can be a challenge extremely unsettling to have to deal with.
8. Learning (2.3% of disabilities)
Learning disabilities are when there is an area of weakness or inefficiency in the brain. In life, this complicates basic learning tasks and suggests a neurological dysfunction that may or may not worsen with time. Difficulty reading, trouble with math, difficulty with writing, and difficulty with language are a few examples.
For the average Canadian, learning challenges can prevent them from keeping a job, from advancing in their professional lives, and impact their social lives.
9. Memory (2.3% of disabilities)
Memory loss and memory-related issues affects more than 500,000 Canadians every year. Changes in memory can be associated with dementia or Alzheimer’s, although they don’t necessarily need to be so. Canadians with memory problems may struggle with simple tasks like driving, in addition to having their attention and decision-making abilities affected.
10. Developmental (0.6% of disabilities)
Developmental disabilities includes conditions like Down syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, and autism. In the discussion on disabilities and mental health, developmental disabilities might be often neglected since they aren’t too common. For this category of Canadians, treatment options are minimal, they are not usually included in policy initiatives, and in clinical practice they are rarely spoken about.
These are just a few of the most common disabilities in Canada. Although federally and provincially, there are various programs targeting assistance to persons with disabilities, these individuals still experience sometimes excruciating challenges.
For disabled Canadians, they aren’t often provided the same opportunities as their non-disabled counterparts and their life experiences are forever altered from the day they begin to experience symptoms onwards. If you’re disabled, you may be eligible for certain programs, initiatives, and financial support. Be sure to have someone look into the options that are available to you.