Housing Insecurity a Threat to Seniors, Poses a Risk to Hospice Providers

Posted Friday, July 8, 2022

In America, dying is expensive, putting some patients at risk of losing their homes.

According to a 2016 study, issues of unstable housing has a direct impact on patients’ health care choices and outcomes, including ​​a higher incidence of aggressive treatments in their final days. Depleting a family’s financial resources is a greater predictor of aggressive treatment at the end of life than patient preferences or demographic factors.

Data are scarce regarding the number of terminally ill individuals who experience housing insecurity, but among seniors in general, the threat of homelessness is growing.

“In many parts of the U.S, older adults represent the fastest-growing age segment of the homeless population, with nearly half of all older homeless people becoming homeless for the first time after age 50,” a 2021 report from the advocacy group Justice in Aging indicated. “Older adults are at the center of our nation’s housing affordability and homelessness crisis, as our nation’s population is aging and income inequality continues to grow, especially for older adults of color.”

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