AuthorCameron, Karen L.
Committee ChairBadger, Terry A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis qualitative descriptive study described how seven older homeless women with depression characterized their homelessness, depression, and aging. The women, with a mean age of 54 years, were concerned with day-to-day survival, and contemplating aging while remaining homeless was frightening. The women described feeling depressed and most had received treatment for depression; however they did not describe their depression as hindering their ability to find housing. The themes were aging, homelessness, depression, and chronic health conditions. Homelessness contained the subthemes of addictions, loss of relationships, and lack of income. Depression contained the subthemes of history, experience, and treatment of depression. Although chronic health conditions and chronic pain were concerns for all participants, only one woman had access to ongoing health care. The majority of the women had no income. Nearly all the women had attended school beyond high school but this did not translate into better paying employment because most of them had worked at jobs with no benefits. Implications for policy development included expanding the safety net to provide housing options for homeless women in the 50-60 year range. Recommendations for practitioners included the suggestion that older homeless women be viewed as geriatric clients with care provided at that level. Future research should explore the connection between addictions and homelessness for older homeless women, the impact of chronic pain or chronic illness on their daily functioning, and the potential benefits of treating older homeless women according to standards of care developed for the geriatric general population.