Homeless Elderly

1305 Words 6 Pages
When thinking about homelessness, the elderly people issue doesn’t immediately come to our mind. Homeless elders, although increasing in numbers, continue to be a forgotten population. The number of elderly adults who have become homeless has increased around the county. An example of this increase has occurred in Massachusetts, where from 1999 to 2002, the number of people over 55 using shelters increased by 60% (HEARTH, 2007). The increased homelessness among elderly persons is largely the result of poverty and the declining availability of affordable housing among certain segments of the aging. Throughout the nation, there are at least 9 seniors waiting for every occupied unit of affordable elderly housing (HEARTH, 2007). Many elderly people …show more content…
According to the 2007 report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, individuals 62 and older constituted only 2% of the country’s sheltered homeless population from February to April 2005, compared with 15% of the housed population (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2007). Isolation also contributes to homelessness among older persons; in a 2004 survey, one half of the recipients of SSI (50 years and older) had been living alone before losing their homes (Crane, 2004). People who experience homelessness for long periods of time simply do not reach age 62 as often as the general population, accounting for their small numbers within the homeless population (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2007). The average life expectancy for a person without permanent housing was placed between 42 and 52 years, far below the country’s average expectancy of 80 years. The review also indicated that premature death most often results from acute and chronic medical conditions aggravated by homeless life rather than either mental illness or substance abuse (O’Connell, 2005). The resulting projection of the elderly homeless population show that homelessness is projected to increase by 33 percent from 44,172 in 2010 to 58,772 in 2020 and will …show more content…
We have to remember that they have dignity and are human beings and as a community we should be able to reach out to them when we see them in the streets and offer anything we have even if it is a smile. Perhaps the biggest ethical issue that arises with elderly homelessness is that drug study recruiters often approach homeless people on the sidewalks outside of shelters the recruiter has an ethical issue when they state “these guys have no job, no home, and a [illegal drug] habit”. You have people at their lowest state, and they’ll say yes to anything.” They are being used as lab rats. The main ethical issues here, of course, are the competence and judgment of the prospective

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