What Are The Most Common Disability Causes For Seniors?

One of the really important things you should be aware of when thinking about disability is that as you age you have a 35% possibility of being disabled by the time you retire. There are so many reasons why this happens and it is vital for all of us to be aware of them. The most common ones are arthritis, heart disease, diabetes and cancer but you may be surprised by some of the conditions that cause disabilities in the elderly.

Common Disability Causing Conditions

  • Arthritis – Different forms of arthritis make up the leading cause of long term disability in the elderly. Statistics show that a third of all the disability cases are caused by arthritis. There are also other joint and muscle problems like bones that are not mending, a bad hip or a bad back that can be disabilities.
  • Heart Disease/Stroke – A person can live a long time with a heart disease. However, it can severely limit work ability. We now know that 17% of all the US health costs are associated with heart diseases.
  • Cancer – We all know that cancer can be disabling but it is not just the disease that causes problems. Treatment options like radiation, surgery and chemotherapy will make it so much more difficult to work. Unfortunately, cancer is a quickly growing disability claim cause. Cancer rates are going up and although medicine is evolving, it did not catch up yet.
  • Mental Health Problems – In most situations people think of physical disabilities but there are also mental disabilities that have to be discussed. Being affected by mental health problems can so easily make it impossible to do work. The common examples that should be highlighted are bipolar disorder and depression. These can easily be just as disabling as the other better-known physical illnesses.
  • Diabetes – When mentioning diabetes we do not often think about disability but just as with obesity, it can lead to various serious health problems. This includes the above mentioned heart disease. At the same time, diabetes is expensive to manage as supplies and drugs will cost a lot.
  • Nervous System Disorders – There are many conditions that can affect nerves or the brain. Common examples include Parkinson’s, MS (multiple sclerosis), epilepsy, ALS and Alzheimer’s disease. The leading cause for disability in the young adults age group is MS.
  • Pregnancy – This should be pretty self-explanatory but has to be mentioned. Paid leave is offered when pregnant so officially it has to be listed as a disabling condition.
  • Accidents – So many accidents can cause disabilities. The official assumption is that accidents are going to cause most of the disabilities. This is not the case since just 10% of all the disability cases are caused by an accident.


Senior citizens can be affected by so many possible disabilities. It is really important to be aware of them. In the event a problem appears, it is crucial to go to the doctor as soon as possible. If disability claims are warranted, just make sure that you go through the official channels to receive the payments.

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