Elder Mistreatment on the Streets
November 18, 2020
This announcement is from the National Center on Elder Abuse
“Through much of the past year, COVID-19 has unleashed unprecedented harms and exacerbated preexisting hardships for older adults worldwide. One particularly devastating effect of the contagion has been the descent of older adults at the economic margins into poverty and increased threat of homelessness. Prior to the pandemic, the aging homeless population in the United States was on the rise. The coronavirus has placed them in an even more precarious position.
Older adults who experience homelessness are projected to more than double by 2050. While many in the older cohort have lived on the streets for a generation and aged into chronic homelessness, a majority are now experiencing homelessness for the first time. Rent burdened, food insecure, and laden with high health care expenses, thousands of elders have fallen below the poverty threshold and onto the streets. Over 30 percent of the total homeless population live in outdoor areas that are unsafe, crime prone, and neither intended nor suited for human habitation. Bereft of housing, economic reserves, and social supports, those who are homeless in older age are prey to opportunistic predators and targeted for mistreatment.”