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Chartbook on Mental Health and Disability

Section 2: Characteristics of disability in adult life

2.8. To what extent do people 65 years and older with a mental disability have physical and communication disabilities?

Nearly 4 million people 65 years and older had a mental disability in 1997 (3,912,000, or 12.2% of the population 65 years and over). There were 203,000 with a mental disability alone (0.6%), 137,000 with a mental and communication disability (0.4%), 1,403,000 with a mental and physical disability (4.4%), and 2,168,000 with a disability in all three domains (6.8%). The SIPP category of mental disability includes people with mental retardation, learning disabilities, and dementias groups that are not generally included in the data reported in this chartbook.

Most people 65 years and older with mental disability have other disabilities.

Figure 14 (see data table for text-only version)

Figure 14: Number of people age 65 years and over with mental disability, and mental disability in combination with physical and communication disabilities

Source: McNeil (2001)

Surveys: SIPP, 1997

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