Homeless Health Problems

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The purpose of this essay is to discuss health problems and health services issues associated with homelessness. This essay will examine how homelessness can lead to serious health problems and how both physical and mental health problems can lead to homelessness. It will also discuss various barriers to accessing health services experienced by some homeless individuals and what government, Primary Care, voluntary organisations and healthcare professionals such as nurses are doing or can do to improve access to health services for homeless people.

Lund (2013) defines homelessness as a state of not having a home. Even when people have a roof over their head, they could still be classed as homeless person (Shelter, 2013). An individual may be classed as homeless if they are temporarily staying with friends or family member, staying in a
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Social determinants of health are conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality of life outcomes and risks (Nice, 2012).

Homeless people are likely to be uneducated, unemployed, economically inactive, or living a poor lifestyle, these factors has serious implications on homeless people‘s health and access to health services. The average lifespan of a homeless person is 47 years, compared to 77 years for the general public (Crisis, 2015).

Health problems can be both a cause and consequences of homelessness (Shelter, 2015). A person with mental health problems may be unable to cope with the strain of day to day living and sustain his or her tenancies (Csiernik et al, 2011). People living rough are likely to have a high risk of developing long-term health problems, a long-term health problems can affect people’s employment opportunities later in life which in turn will increase the likelihood of becoming homeless (Thompson,

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