Homeless people are a growing population that many do not want to acknowledge. However, the fact remains that the state of homelessness makes a person more susceptible to morbidity and death. Homelessness and poverty are interconnected and those who live in poverty are at a high risk of becoming homeless.
That is why healthcare institutions have the responsibility of overcoming erected barriers to provide effective disease prevention among the homeless population. This is a social commitment that the society has to take up and it means changing the public health policies so that homeless people have access to primary healthcare.Homelessness and Morbidity:
A way to measure the health of a population is to measure the morbidity that exists in the population. It has been seen that homeless people have more that one health conditions at the same time, an occurrence known as comorbidity. Sometimes the illnesses can occur due to the fact that a person is homeless and other times illnesses occur because the person has limited access to healthcare or is carrying the psychosocial onus of being homeless. In some people, homelessness occurs due to ill health. This is primarily true for those who live from one paycheck to another and when they fall ill, they do not have money for rent or survival leading to homelessness.Homelessness and Mortality:
In the United States, studies have been carried out that looked at the causes of mortality rate among homeless people. It has been found that the mortality rate among homeless is higher compared to the mortality of the population that has houses. In addition, homeless die at a younger age compared to the general population. The element of being homeless contributed to early death. Factors that influence and cause high mortality rate among homeless are exposure to extreme weather, living in crowded shelters and being exposed to communicable diseases, medical illnesses, violence, psychiatric illnesses, illicit drug abuse, alcohol abuse and insufficient nutrition.
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