More Americans Spending “Golden Years” in Homelessness

Older Adults Spending Retirement Years Searching for Housing

About half of homeless people in the United States are aged 50 or older,reportsThe Columbus Dispatch. The number of older homeless adults is projected to increase by 33 percent in the next decade and double by 2050.

Aging adults who have been homeless experience chronic illnesses and geriatric conditions 15 to 20 years earlier than the general population, says Dr. Margot Kushel, a professor of medicine at the University of California-San Francisco. She and her team followed 350 homeless people in Oakland, California, and also learned that te average life expectancy for a homeless older adult is 63 years compared with 80 for someone who always has had stable housing.

Although the median age of the participants in the study was 58, they had more trouble bathing, dressing, and eating than many in their 70s, 80s, and 90s, Kushel notes. They also had a harder time using transportation, taking medication, managing money, applying for benefits, and arranging job interviews.



Photo: pedrosimoes7 A beautiful old lady via photopin (license)