We tend to associate homelessness with younger people. But the problems that ead to homelessness can affect anyone at any life stage, with older people increasingly at risk, reports KATH KYLE.
It’s a common misconception that homelessness is caused mainly by financial problems and falling behind with rent or mortgage payments.
In fact, according to the homeless charity, Shelter, 55 per cent of homeless cases are the result of disputes within a household and requests to leave.
Other reasons include:
Older people are not immune
There is a lack of comprehensive statistical evidence showing the full extent of homelessness among older people. But a Shelter Scotland spokesperson told elderjuice: “Over the six months from September 2010, just over 10 per cent of calls to our helpline where age was recorded were from over-55s.”
In Scotland alone, in 2009-10 almost 1500 adults over retirement age lived in households that applied to their local authority as homeless. In some parts of the UK, the problem is even worse.
How to get help if you’re homeless
Finding yourself without a suitable place to live is stressful – but there is help available, from your local authority and from organisations such as Shelter.
Shelter works to alleviate the distress caused by homelessness and bad housing. The organisation offers advice and information, and provides advocacy services.
It also campaigns for lasting political change to end the housing crisis.
Get advice on homelessness
Anyone who is at risk of homelessness or needs housing advice can contact the Shelter helpline on :
You can find also pinpoint more localised services by entering your postcode in Shelter’s local advice directories for:
Find out more about special housing requirements
Although you may have a home, that home may not meet your requirements.
If you think that you need help to get supported accommodation, or you require adaptations to allow you to stay in your current home, check out the following web pages:
Shelter can also help you look at your options if you are considering moving to a home where you can receive help, or to a place that’s more suitable for your needs.