Health Problems That The Homeless Face
Homeless people often suffer from a myriad of conditions due to the fact that they lack most of the basic needs. When it comes to health matters, they are among the most vulnerable group to be affected by diseases which are mostly caused by the standard of their lives. Some of the health diseases and the health challenges they have include:
1. Respiratory diseases:
Due to the fact that the homeless are exposed to harsh environments, they are likely to get respiratory illnesses. The dust, cold, and exposure to different chemicals can erode their respiratory system and cause diseases like flu, chest congestion, asthma, pneumonia and many others.
2. Trauma and other psychological conditions:
First, the fact that they are homeless is already overwhelming and humiliating to them. Then there is the aspect of what caused their homelessness. For some, they are battling with a difficult past, involving different forms of abuse, or death of someone they were depending on. In short, they are living a life with so many unfinished businesses.
Then there is their present situation: the insecurity they face, always at a risk of being attacked and abused wherever they are. It makes them very anxious and unstable.
This can eventually lead to depression or even suicide when a feeling of hopelessness descends on them. Usually, most hopeless people live an empty and bitter life which either leads to self harm, or harming other people around them.
3. Skin diseases:
The fact that they are homeless means that they cannot access good sanitation. Most of them go for day without changing clothes or having a bath. This makes their bodies hosts to many parasites such as lice and mites. The poor hygiene can cause many skin disease and irritation. Other extreme environmental conditions such as direct sunlight and extreme cold also causes burns and sores on the skin.
Homeless people cannot afford to have a balanced diet everyday. This means that they are likely to be malnourished and suffer from diseases relating to poor diet such as scurvy, anemia and other diseases caused by nutrients deficiency. Since the food they eat is always unsanitary, they also end up suffering from digestive disorders and can have symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting.
As a means to cope with life’s circumstances, most homeless people start abusing alcohol and other drugs. They end up becoming over dependent on them and develop an addiction. Of course they cannot afford to go for rehabilitation even if they wanted, so they find themselves sinking deeper. The addictions come with different health complications such as liver diseases, lung problems, and cardiovascular diseases.
6. Physical injuries:
The lack of housing means that they are not sheltered from hazards and attacks. They get bitten by rodents and other animals that perceives them as a threat, leaving them with physical injuries. Other than that, they can be hit by falling objects, or even people who suspect that they are up to no good. The homeless always have cuts and bruises from sustained injuries. Some of them develop into septic wounds which cause further health complications.
There are so many problems associated with homelessness, ranging from physical to psychological. Somehow, lacking a home strips them of their dignity and desire to live and interact with other people.