Health Conditions Suffered by Homeless People
Despite housing being a fundamental right and need, many people find it hard to achieve this elusive goal. The recent Shelter report indicates that at least 320,000 people are homeless, with up to 5000 in a dire situation.
Homelessness is not just an isolated condition but carries with it other adverse effects. Homeless individuals find it challenging to obtain decent meals, access medical treatment and are at high risk of being attacked by people or wild animals.
To get a better focus on the health perspective, let’s look at the conditions that homeless people are likely to suffer.
Due to the prolonged exposure to cold and sometimes rain, the homeless are susceptible to lung diseases. These include bronchitis, tuberculosis, pneumonia, and persistent colds or flu. Their body is also highly sensitive to such illnesses due to poor nutrition and weakened immune systems.
Joint and Bone Problems Including Osteoarthritis
Homeless people are not immune to joint problems such as osteoarthritis. The fact that some of them are elderly, rarely exercise, and consume poor diets compounds their vulnerability. In the United States, around 32.5 million adults suffer from osteoarthritis.
Treatment of the condition includes weight loss, a medicated osteoarthritis diet, surgery, therapy, and increased physical exercise. Homeless people may find access to health care systems, diagnoses, and treatment difficult.
Mental Health Problems
Mental health issues such as depression, emotional disorders, aggression, anxiety disorders, and paranoia can also affect the homeless. The fact that these people have little or no moral support can aggravate any underlying mental issues or be a source of new ones.
Mental health conditions and related stress disorders often result in drug problems. Homeless people’s poor mental wellness often results in a negative spiral of events.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Due to their vulnerable nature, the homeless are prone to abuse. People with ill motives can take advantage of their situation to demand sexual favours in return for food or shelter. This exposes them to HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Homelessness is caused by many factors such as domestic violence, unemployment, lack of affordable housing, divorce, or sudden serious illness, among other factors. Their situation is compounded by the lack of access to health care, poor hygiene, and bad weather.
This makes homeless people continually suffer from related illnesses; they are also at a disadvantage point when they fall ill.