Homelessness, Reports and Publications

The Implications of Homelessness on Our Biology


Graph via nature.com.

As the homeless population of baby boomers reach older ages, America must be prepared to respond to the care they will need when entering shelters or interfacing with various state and federal agencies. An analysis suggests that the City of Los Angeles, California could reduce spending by $33 million per year if it provided homes to elderly people presently living unsheltered.

Neurologist Serggio Lanata will be conducting a study (set to begin in June 2019) to examine homeless adults, searching for early signs of Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative brain disorders to see how living on the streets impacts the health of our brains. This research complements the 2013 work of the University of California, San Francisco’s Center for Vulnerable Populations. In that research, Margot Kushel, Director of the Center for Vulnerable Populations, followed 350 older homeless adults (average age of 57) to begin understanding why this population ages in hyper-speed. Ms. Kushel is now working on the next phase of her on-going study, which will seek to understand how becoming homeless might trigger or make worse existing conditions.

By exploring these research questions further to understand the impacts and lasting effects of homelessness, communities can more effectively curb suffering for aging populations and decrease government spending.

For more information, click here.


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