The Homeless Population

653 Words3 Pages
Identify the subpopulation you have chosen

I have chosen the homeless population in which there are currently 105,237 people in Australia; 56% male and 44% female. ("Homelessness statistics", 2016)

Identify and briefly outline the specific health and wellbeing issues faced by the subgroup.

Exploring the relationship between homelessness and health shows different types of connections. Some health problems are experienced before an individual becomes homeless and may later contribute to the difficulty in finding appropriate housing whereas other health issues are a consequence of homelessness. It also causes difficulties in finding appropriate treatment for illnesses. (Homelessness, health, and human needs, 1988) Homeless individuals are
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This can include financial difficulties, problems with transportation to health care facilities, lack of identification and health insurance and even maintaining appointments ("Health & Homelessness", 2016) Accessing health related services is often not a priority for the homeless as the constant search for food, clothes and somewhere to sleep becomes more important. Not having appropriate storage facilities for medications and problems with theft can also interfere with maintaining a treatment plan once one is created. Some may be tempted to sell their medications for food or other things they need (Homelessness: Issues for people experiencing homelessness, 2016). Low literacy and a general misunderstanding of medical instructions can also effect compliance. The perception of discrimination by uncaring health professionals and a lack of respect is also identified as a barrier to health…show more content…
The Australian psychological society recognises that “long waiting times, inflexible scheduling, inadequate service options and complicated admission criteria” (Australian Psychological, 2016) are also some of the other reasons why the homeless may struggle to make appointments. Due to these reasons homeless people often visit emergency departments when in crisis. The St.Vincent’s hospital Melbourne provides a multidisciplinary model of care for the homeless which aims to deliver acute medical assistance with a compassionate approach. The team consists of social workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, nurses and psychologists who work together to improve the general health and well-being of these patients without any disrespect or discrimination. The 24 hour accessibility of these services eliminates a number of barriers for the homeless. (Australian Psychological,
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