Essay about Health Care For The Homeless

Essay about Health Care For The Homeless

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Described as a significant determinant of poor health, homeless people face many medical challenges due to long term exposure to weather, infections, drugs, limited access to ongoing health care and is associated with a high incidence of acute and chronic health problems. (Henwood, 2013) According to the National Health Care for the Homeless, a person is labeled homeless that does not have primary residence, they may reside with family or friends, stay in shelters, live under bridges, in automobiles, in parks, and rely on emergency shelters, for shelter at night. (National Health Care for the Homeless Council, n.d.) This type of living situation is associated with morbidity related to infectious disease, poor nutrition, can exacerbate poor health conditions and can lead to poor mental health. With daily survival as a goal, environmental and psychosocial stressors contribute to the search for food, shelter and attaining money. The health needs of homeless persons are complicated by social, cultural, and financial barriers compiled with stigmatization, lack of continuity of care and cultural insensitivity all leading to a worsened health status. (Hauff, 2014)
In the 1980’s there was an increase of the number of people without proper living conditions caused by cuts in housing and social services, a deteriorating economy and a loss of low cost housing options. Studies displayed the most common causes for homelessness for women and families was domestic violence, abuse, and intergenerational poverty. Post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans of the Vietnam War and drug use were also causes leading to an increase of homelessness and all of these factors aid in being barriers to healthcare access. (Zlotnick, 2013) Also bec...


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...d Health Care for the Homeless Clinics provide some basic health services Federally Qualified Health Centers and Health Care for the Homeless Clinics, which are available in most communities across the U.S. provide some basic health services to homeless persons without cost. The Affordable Care Act has also increased the number of community-based care options, such as with “Health Homes.” (National Alliance to End Homelessness)


With the introduction of respite facilities, providers could utilize Kleinman’s Explanatory Model questions to understand the beliefs each patient has on their illness based on their culture, how they understand their medical problems, and to formulate a plan that respects the patients level of education, needs and barriers that person may have in reaching the necessary resource’s to improve their health care needs and quality of life.



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