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Strategies to enhance service delivery for homeless people with dementia

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-24, 20:44 authored by Vandana BhagatVandana Bhagat

Context and Aim: There is a strong connection between homelessness and cognitive issues, including dementia. Homeless people are at risk of developing dementia because of various factors such as unavailability of nutritious food and secured accommodation, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and substance abuse. Concurrently, people having dementia are at risk of homelessness due to social isolation and poor coordination of support services. The COVID-19 situation has aggravated this issue. Service providers require a specialised approach to reach homeless community because of frequently complex needs and challenging behaviours. Therefore, this study aims to put forward strategies to improve service provision for homeless people with dementia.

Methods: A narrative literature review was conducted in scientific databases including PubMed, CINAHL, Medline, Scopus, and Science Direct. In addition, secondary data was collected from general web search engines ‘Google’ and ‘Google scholar’.

Transitional outcomes: Various strategies have been identified to improve service provision for homeless people with dementia: 1. Bringing awareness and educating staff of homeless organisations about dementia, 2. Creating easily accessible dementia service pathways such as availability of after-hour dementia services, 3. Building a trustworthy relationship, 4. Creating an integrated service model, 5. Appropriate cognitive assessment tool for the homeless people, 6. Development of appropriate information material keeping in mind literacy levels of homeless people, 7. Increasing capacity and monitoring of homelessness and dementia data.

Future actions: Homelessness organisations need to emphasise that in addition to handle everyday issues like housing, food, clothing, and employment for homeless people, they should also prioritise the timely assessment of suspected cognitive impairment, including dementia which can worsen the situation of homeless people. Concurrently, dementia support services should align with special needs of homeless people and follow a flexible approach to reach homeless organisations and clients.


Publication title

Australian Public Health Conference 2021


School of Health Sciences

Event title

Australian Public Health Conference 2021

Event Venue


Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Health system performance (incl. effectiveness of programs); Community health care; Homelessness and housing services

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