Hygiene, sanitation and homelessness in the community


Recently Mission Australia called for the Federal Government to build 60,000 additional social housing dwellings following the release of its 2017 report that showed homelessness is a growing problem for older Australians.

The report, Ageing and homelessness: Solutions for a growing problem, noted that the number of people aged over 55 years who are reaching out for assistance from specialist homelessness support services is continuing to grow, with older women particularly vulnerable to later-in-life homelessness.

Homelessness affects other areas of life, such as general and mental health, hygiene and ready access to proper sanitation facilities, issues that only become more pronounced the older the homeless person gets.

Even those still living in their own homes will sometimes require assistance with daily living tasks, including hygiene, showering and toileting, as the upswing in in-home support services shows.

Conversation starter

Have you – or someone for whom you care – experienced challenges with managing hygiene, sanitation or homelessness? Were you, or they, able to access assistance? How could the situation have been improved for them and others? 

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