Disability

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Submitted Aug 22, 2003   Updated Sep 26, 2010
By Ray Fosterrlf@mt-rushmore.net

 

Disability is defined by Steadman’s Medical as "Medicolegal term signifying loss of function and earning power."

1. Q How many Americans have some disability?

It is estimated that there are 54 million Americans with disability.

2. Q What causes these 54 million Americans to have disability?

 Degenerative arthritis such as osteoarthritis, strokes, and other forms of arthritis along with other diseases caused by chronic vascular disease and diabetes are probably the greatest causes of disability in the United States.

3. Q Do you say in the United States, because arthritis and strokes are not the greatest cause of disability world wide?

Yes, that is correct. In the so-called third world, strokes and degenerative arthritis and strokes are rare compared to the United States. In the third world polio and the results of Tuberculosis and possibly retardation secondary to starvation or pesticides such as DDT are probably the number one causes of disability. In the third world the problem is lack in our country the problem is excess of things including rich food.

4. Q What sort of disabilities do degenerative arthritis and strokes or heart disease cause in our country?

Statistics tell us that 5.2 million people, or 2.7 percent of the total adult population, are limited in transferring, the ability to get in and out of a bed or chair. The ADL (activities of daily living) estimates for adults aged 65 or older are comparable to those of other national surveys like the NHIS and NMES.
Transferring is the most common source of limitation among the five ADLs. However, only 2 million of those limited in transferring need the assistance of another person in performing this activity. The majority of respondents who report limitations in bathing, dressing, and toileting also report need for assistance with these activities.

5. What sort of disabilities need assistance in daily living?

Limitations in bathing are the most common source of need for ADL assistance--2.7 million adults say they need help in taking a bath or shower. Dressing is the second most common ADL in which assistance is needed, followed closely by transferring. Toileting is a less common assistance need, and eating is the least common source of limitation and of need for assistance--fewer than 500,000 people need help with this activity.

Overall, 7.3 million people 15 years and older have some difficulty with one or more ADLs. Half of those adults (3.7 million) reporting an ADL limitation also report a need for assistance. About 1.5 million of these need help with only one ADL, and 1.4 million need help with three or more ADLs.

6. What is the significance of all this disability we see around us?

There are two observations that would seem appropriate. First, the disabilities people suffer from give us a wonderful opportunity to help others. When we are walking along a sidewalk and see a person standing at a corner and they are blind. We can help them across the street in safety.

The other point is that most disabilities are preventable because the diseases that cause the disabilities are preventable.

7. How would you feel if you had a disease and you hear that it is preventable?

If there was nothing that could be done once I had the disease, I would not feel good at all. However if there was something that I could do even after I had the disease, I would be very interested in knowing what I could do.

8. So is there anything that can be done to reverse or cure the degenerative diseases like artery disease and diabetes and arthritis and strokes that cause the majority of our disabilities?

Yes, there is a great deal that can be done!

9. Well, let us take these diseases one at a time and see what can be done. Lets start with arterydisease – what do you mean by artery disease? What is an artery disease?

Most of the time you hear about heart disease, or stroke or degenerative arthritis or back pain or caludication or gangrene of a toe or foot or some other part of the body. These are all caused by underlying artery disease.

10. Are you saying that strokes, heart attacks, gangrene of the leg, arthritis, and back pain all have the same cause – and it is artery disease?

Not all back pain is caused by artery disease but artery disease can cause back pain, it does cause arthritis and it is the only cause of strokes and is the biggest by far cause of heart disease. Perfect health depends upon perfect circulation. When the arteries to your joints get crusted up with athersclerosis or plugged with a clot, you experience great pain in the joint that xray and formal examination does not usually tell you that the problem is in the arteries that feed that joint. The same thing is true for the back. However when the same blockage occurs in vessels feeding the brain or the heart, we have sensitive electrical testing ways called an electrocardiogram or an electroencephalogram and when we see dead heart muscle or dead brain tissue, we know that it is probably as blocked artery that has caused the muscle or brain tissue to die.

11. Q We know that – the question is what can you do about it after the fact? Once brain or heart muscle is dead – can anything bring it back to life again?

The right answer is no, there is no way we currently know of that will bring dead muscle to life or dead brain cells to life. However it is recently discovered that the brain cells can grow and actually make new brain cells. Muscle cells that are alive can enlarge in size and get stronger to do the work of dead cells. And it has been shown over and over again that plugged arteries can become unplugged under the influence of a suitable diet and under the influence of exercise.

12. Q What is a suitable diet to unplug arteries and what exercises will help to unplug arteries?

A dramatic change can be experienced by a person in just 10 days on a diet that consists of unrefined plant foods like whole baked or boiled potatoes, beans, lentils, whole corn, whole cerials cooked, fruits whole grain bread and whole nuts as well as vegetables like greens, cabbage, carrots and Brussel sprouts.

Walking is the best exercise. Walk to tolerance until you can walk 2 miles a day five days a week.

Drinking 8 glasses of water a day will help clean out those clogged arteries as well.

     
  1. That sounds exciting! That diet sounds good to me. And this time of year walking can be most enjoyable out of doors. Can you guarentee that diet and that exercise to cure artery disease?
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  3. So if I am disabled because of artery disease how long would I need to eat whole plant foods, drink water, and walk 2 miles a day before I could tell any difference with my disability?
  4. Have studies shown us anything else about disabilities?
  5. Is there any other labor research finding of interest?
  6. Are there any other comments on disabilities that you would like to make in closing?
  7. Yes, it is guarenteed to work. There is too much data from millions of people on a simple diet and that walk everywhere they go and live all their lives with no artery disease. There is too much experimental data which shows the build up of plague in arteries and the removal of plaque in the arteries under the influence of different types of diet. The influence of diet and exercise on artery disease is proved beyond any doubt.

    It would depend on what your disability was as to how fast you would notice an improvement. If your disability was chest pain limiting how far you could walk, within ten days of eating unrefined plant foods and drinking water, you could notice an increase in how far you could walk without chest pain.

    If you had diabetes, it could take less than ten days to notice a decrease in medication needs. It would take longer to be able to feel the difference with chronic pain such as a back ache or pain from claudication in legs or back. Of course if you had lost a toe or a body part, all the water and all the fruits and vegetables in the world is not going to bring it back again. But, surprise, as your brain gets better blood supply you will either feel better or worse about the lost part as your brain increases its function under the influence of a better diet, drink and exercise.

    According to Blackard and Barsch (1982), Lonsdale (1978), Romans-Clarkson, et al. (1986), and Singhi, et al. (1990), families containing children with disabilities must cope with greater financial stress, more frequent disruptions of family routines, more marital problems, and reduced social and leisure activities outside the family. One study finds that, despite greater stress, families with children with disabilities are not different from those without in terms of overall functioning. (Dyson, 1991). Furthermore, some family types are more associated with impairment and disability. Children from single- parent families have more emotional and behavioral problems than children who live with both biological parents (Dawson, 1991; Zill and Schoenborn, 1990). However, this may be more directly associated with social and economic factors, rather than the family unit itself. We expect many families with members with disabilities to experience reduced earnings, especially when a householder has a disability, and also to have greater needs and expenditures for supporting family members than families without disability. Yet there has been little statistical analysis of disability in families, of their composition in comparison to families without disability, their demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, and their utilization of health services.

    16. Q What does the research on disabilities show with respect to the affect of having a disability in the work-place?

    There have been three major changes in the labor market over the past 25 years. First, labor force participation rates have declined among men, especially among older men, while rising among women, especially among younger women (Yelin & Katz, 1994a). Second, the manufacturing sector has declined in its share of overall employment, while the service sector has increased in its share (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1995). Third, the proportion of jobs providing full-time, career employment and health and pension benefits has declined, while the proportion of part-time work has increased (Yelin, 1992). These three sets of changes are related: men held a disproportionate share of the manufacturing jobs lost, while women hold a disproportionate share of the jobs gained in services. Manufacturing sector jobs are more likely to provide career employment and good benefits, while service sector jobs are more likely to involve part-time and/or temporary work and to confer few benefits. In prior research, it has been shown that persons with disabilities have experienced a disproportionate share of these changes in employment (Yelin & Katz, 1994a; Yelin & Katz, 1994b).

    Persons with disabilities experienced a larger relative drop-off in employment in manufacturing than persons without disabilities, while also experiencing a larger relative increase in employment in services (Yelin, 1992). Persons with disabilities experienced a much greater increase in part-time work than persons without disabilities; their increase in involuntary part-time work was especially pronounced (Yelin & Katz, 1994b). The findings of the research on employment among persons with disabilities are consistent with the notion that disability does accentuate more general labor market trends.

    Often the person’s attitude to their disability has more influence on their position in the workplace than does the disability itself. I have a friend in a wheel chair from a logging accident that is very secure in his job. His attitude of "can do" and his expertise in his field makes him a very valuable worker and he gets well paid.

    One group of analysts focused on the mismatch between the demands of the contemporary economy and the skills and experience of persons with disabilities (Luft, 1978; Berkowitz, Johnson, & Murphy, 1976; Nagi, 1976); another suggested that high income replacement rates‹the ratio of disability compensation to wages‹enticed persons with marginal disabilities to stop working (Parsons, 1980; Boskin & Hurd, 1978). In the early 1980s, income replacement rates were lowered, reducing the number of beneficiaries of disability compensation programs as well as the income of the remaining beneficiaries, but the proportion of persons with disabilities who left work did not decrease (Yelin, 1986; Haveman, Wolfe, & Warlick, 1982). In the last few years, the number of beneficiaries has again increased (Lewin-VHI, 1994), suggesting that the reduction in income replacement rates provided only a temporary solution to the problem of rising disability compensation rolls and did not improve the long-term employment situation of persons with disabilities (Yelin, 1992). In recent years, analysts have begun to focus on how employment among persons with disabilities fits more general labor market trends (Yelin & Katz, 1994a; Reskin & Roos, 1990). In this line of inquiry, the employment situation of persons with disabilities is viewed in much the same way as that of other groups with labor market liabilities‹women, members of minority groups, young workers newly entering employment, and older workers facing displacement. Thus, persons with disabilities, like these other groups, are thought to be prone to a last-hired, first-fired phenomenon. Indeed, disability may combine with gender, age, and race to place some persons with disabilities at even greater disadvantage than those with only disability as a labor market liability.

    17. Q Is there any other good news other than diet and life-style can greatly decrease and even reverse the diseases that cause disability?

    Computer technology and the Internet have a tremendous potential to broaden the lives and increase the independence of people with disabilities. Those who have difficulty leaving their homes can now log in and order groceries, shop for appliances, research health questions, participate in online discussions, catch up with friends, or make new ones. Blind people, who used to wait months or years for the information they needed to be made available in Braille or on audiotape, can now access the very same news stories, magazine articles, government reports, and information on consumer products at the very same time it becomes available to the sighted population. People who have difficulty holding a pen or using a keyboard can use the latest speech recognition software to write letters, pay their bills, or perform work-related tasks. These new technologies hold great promise, but as this report makes abundantly clear, the computer revolution has left the vast majority of people with disabilities behind. Only one-quarter of people with disabilities own computers, and only one-tenth ever make use of the Internet. Elderly people with disabilities, and those with low incomes or low educational attainment, are even less likely to take advantage of these new technologies.

    The research data referred to is Published by U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR).

    My current understanding is that a disabled person with a good attitude can be a better worker than a non-disabled person with a poor attitude in the work place. The current trend to depend upon government to fix every problem is a frightening trend to me. The track record of any large organization to fix any problem is very poor compared to the personal-initiative approach. What has made the United States a great nation is the personal-initiative approach. The attitude that destroyed Rome was rise in the priority of games and entertainment. As this same trend in seen in our country, it is a fearful marker of future trouble similar to that that befell the ancient Roman Empire. History repeats itself because the same causes have the same effects.

    It would seem prudent for a person with a disability to value games and pleasure less and value personal initiative and the value to hard work more. It would also be greatly to their advantage to pay strict attention and to use the information we have been highlighting this past hour to their advantage. There is a profound connection between the food and drink daily consumed and disability causing chronic degenerative diseases that are to a great degree reversable.

    It reminds me of Hosea 4:6 "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge". May we not reject the knowledge that we have reviewed over this past hour.