Older persons with disabilities
According to the United Nations (UN), more than 46 percent of older persons (aged 60 years and over) have a disability and they represent the majority of the overall population of persons with disabilities.
Global trends show the risk of becoming disabled is higher amongst the aging population, and as life expectancy increases, persons with disabilities who survive into old age can also be expected to contribute to the overall growth in the population of older persons with disabilities. Therefore, efforts to explore the complementarities between the discourses on aging and on disability are being made.
Older persons with disabilities are often disproportionately affected by existing barriers as they face additional age-related social barriers. This results in aggravated discrimination and human rights violations against them. Older persons with disabilities experience a higher level of loss of power, denial of autonomy, marginalisation, and institutionalisation as compared to younger persons with disabilities. This makes them more prone to social isolation, exclusion, poverty, and abuse.
As a result, they have fewer opportunities to establish or join organisations that represent their demands as older persons and persons with disabilities. Therefore, concrete steps are needed to foster their participation in decision-making processes and ensure that all participatory and consultative mechanisms take into account both disability- and age-related factors and their intersection.
- UN Women (2022): Gender, age, and disability: Addressing the intersection.
- Video by HelpAge International: Disability - Social protection - Inclusion.