Seniors left out in cold – here’s how to help

It’s estimated one in six people aged 55+are currently homeless, which is described as having an unstable or inadequate housing situation.

The 2016 Census found that older people made up 16 per cent of all people experiencing homelessness.

Who can help?

The federal government has initiatives that ensure older people are protected and not left without accommodation or somewhere to live.

People who are eligible include:

  • Older people aged 50 years or older and are prematurely ageing.

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 45 years and older.

  • Those on a low income.

One type of free government support includes accessing aged care services earlier or being assisted when finding accommodation. The person must be experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness to access aged care services earlier, which will help them find suitable accommodation and support.

For those needing aged care services, like a nursing home, the government can assist with appropriate placement in a facility, including one service which specialises in care for homeless people.

For those who are still mobile and independent and don’t need full-time care but need stable accommodation, there are services available through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP).

For people in need, the government and providers will help link to additional services.

You can find out more on the My Aged Care website or call 1800 200 422.

Public housing

People with very low incomes can access state or territory public housing.

Those accessing this service will likely need to pay rent at a reduced rate, and there are other rules and regulations to follow.

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