Prevalence of Homeless Older Adults and Factors Causing Their Homelessness: A Review

Objectives: To examine the prevalence of homeless older adults and causes of homelessness among the elderly. Methods: Systematic review involving search of Medline, Cochrane Review and GoogleScholar, including homeless, homelessness, elder, elderly, aged and in old age. For prevalence, articles before 2000 were excluded, and samples had to be at least 50 ±5 years of age. Results: Medline search resulted in 511 articles. Studies outside the United States, focusing on disease- or site-specific populations and/or not specifying subjects by age were excluded, leaving four studies (prevalence) and two (causes). Two additional articles on prevalence were identified through GoogleScholar, and three others (two about prevalence; one about causes) were identified from manually searching bibliographies of identified articles. Discussion: The prevalence of elderly homeless ranges from 8% to 55% (mean, 27%; median, 24%). Most-often cited reasons leading to homelessness were financial/employment problems, lack of social support, and mental health problems.

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The Internet Journal of Geriatrics and Gerontology