Older Adults and the Elderly

Homelessness is on the rise among older adults and the elderly.  The Sixth Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress found that the sheltered homeless population age 51-61 has grown from 18.9% of total sheltered persons in 2007 to 22.3% in 2010.  These increases primarily coincide with the aging of the baby boomers in the population as a whole.

Older adults who are experiencing homelessness have three to four times the mortality rate of the general population due to unmet physical health, mental health and substance use treatment needs.  The combination of issues typically associated with homelessness such as mental health and substance abuse with those related to aging such as reduced mobility and a need for assistance with daily activities is requiring providers of housing and services to this population to develop creative solutions.

Fortunately, CSH knows that supportive housing has been shown to be a model that works to address homelessness among older adults and elders.

CSH has joined together with Hearth, Inc. a non-profit dedicated to the elimination of elder homelessness,  to further a national dialogue about the impending crisis. In addition to recruiting a National Policy Advisory Panel comprised of policy makers, advocates and providers, a National Convening on Ending Elder Homelessness was held on October 20th, 2011 at United Way Worldwide, in Alexandria, Virginia. 58 participants representing government officials, policy makers, health care providers, service providers, housing developers and property managers came together for a vibrant day of conversation and policy development focused on the unique needs of this population.

CSH has prepared a policy paper based on the findings from this convening and prepared for the National Leadership Initiative to End Elder Homelessness.

REAd CSH's newly released Policy paper: Ending Homelessness Among Older Adults And Elders Through Permanent Supportive Housing

see csh's older adults and senior project profiles

additional resources

Geriatric Syndromes in Older Homeless Adults

Affordable Housing Workgroup, Final Recommendations  - New York State Department of Health, Medicaid Redesign Team—

Premature Mortality in Homeless Populations: A Review of the Literature

Ending Elder Homelessness: The Importance of Service-Enriched Housing - Hearth, Inc.

Homeless Older Adult Strategic Plan - Shelter Partnership, Inc.

Summit on Aging in Place in Public Housing - Enterprise Community Partners and Leading Age

Implications and Practice and Policy Issues of Affordable Senior Housing with Services Options - American Association of Homes & Services for the Aging

Demographics of Homelessness Series: The Rising Elderly Population - National Alliance to End Homelessness, Research Matters




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