Barriers to Healthy lifestyles of Vulnerable Populations (Homeless People)
There are many barriers encountered by homeless people in maintaining healthy lifestyles. The barriers consist of a series of roadblocks that prevent them from accessing health care services. Such barriers include money, personal identification, time, transport and health insurance. Because of these realities competing with basic needs such as shelter and food on a daily basis, the homeless people often ignore minor or nagging illnesses. This is until the illnesses become severe and can no longer be ignored. The barriers are even more pronounced among the elderly due to their poor mobility, chronic health conditions and frailty. Those who are chronically homeless can suffer from mental impairments due to mental illnesses, continuous drug use and addiction, brain injury and traumatic experiences. They may presently lack gainful employment or have never been employed. They may also be lacking security numbers and ongoing work records. Others have also misplaced their documents and may be shy to seek medical treatment as a result of stigma and discrimination.
To overcome these barriers, nurses attending to the homeless people can use face- to-face interactions and inform them of the places from which they can be helped when in need. They can also use outreach programs to provide care management. In this way, the nurses can identify the care needs of the homeless and administer the relevant medication for their cases as well as make suitable placements. Policy change can also be influenced by the nurses through proposals written to concerned bodies about the same in order for the biases to be addressed. This is because it is the biases that lead to discrimination of the homeless.
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