Illnesses and accidents can cause disability in any person. According to statements by the Federal Statistics Authority, approximately 6.8 million severely disabled persons are living in Germany. That is, every twelfth federal citizen has been recognised by the pension offices as having a degree of disability that is at 50 percent or higher. In most cases by far (83 percent), the disability is due to an illness. Close to five percent of disabilities are congenital, while a good two percent were caused by accidents.
Heart disorders are a frequent cause of disability
A disorder of the internal organs is among the most frequent causes of disability. In the year 2005 alone, the Statistical Federation Office listed more than 600 000 persons suffering from illnesses of the heart and cardiovascular system (ten percent). Approximately 14 percent of severely disabled persons have disorders of the limbs, particularly the legs. Another 13 percent of disabilities developed due to impairments of the spine and trunk. The age pyramid is as follows: More than half of all severely disabled persons are 65 years of age or older. Another 21 percent are in the age group between 55 and 65 years. The share of children and youth below 18 years of age is low at 2.4 percent.
Barrier-free life for persons with disabilities
Many disabilities can still not be healed completely, however their effects can be greatly reduced. Many affected persons can prevent consequential damage with comprehensive rehabilitation and the aid of medications. Medical technology developments and modern orthopaedic aids help to reach the greatest possible levels of mobility and independence in everyday life and leisure. The aim is to enable disabled persons to have a barrier-free and active life.