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Shelter/housing options, supports and interventions for older people experiencing homelessness

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Document pages: 27 pages

Abstract: While experiences of later-life homelessness are known to vary, classification of shelter, housing and service models that meet the diverse needs of older people with experiences of homelessness (OPEH) are limited. To address this gap, a scoping review was conducted of shelter housing options, supports and interventions for OPEH. Fourteen databases were searched for English-language peer-reviewed and or empirical literature published between 1999 and 2019, resulting in the inclusion of 22 sources. Through a collaborative, iterative process of reading, discussing and coding, data extracted from the studies were organised into six models: (1) long-term care, (2) permanent supportive housing (PSH), including PSH delivered through Housing First, (3) supported housing, (4) transitional housing, (5) emergency shelter settings with health and social supports, and (6) case management and outreach. Programme descriptions and OPEH outcomes are described and contribute to our understanding that multiple shelter housing options are needed to support diverse OPEH. The categorised models are considered alongside existing ‘ageing in place’ research, which largely focuses on older adults who are housed. Through extending discussions of ageing in the ‘right’ place to diverse OPEH, additional considerations are offered. Future research should explore distinct sub-populations of OPEH and how individual-level supports for ageing in place must attend to mezzo- and macro-level systems and policies.

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