246729 Outcomes for Older Homeless Veterans in a Transitional Housing Intervention Program

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 9:01 AM

Lisa M. Brown, PhD , School of Aging Studies, College of Behavioral and Community Sciences, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Scott Barnett, PhD , Center of Excellence, James A. Haley VAMC HSR&D/RR&D Research, Tampa, FL
Kathryn Frahm, PhD , Department of Mental Health and Aging Disparities, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Lawrence Schonfeld, PhD , Department of Aging and Mental Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Wes Kasprow, PhD , Homeless Programs, VA Northeast Program Evaluation Center, West Haven, CT
Roger Casey, PhD , National Center on Homeless Among Veterans, Tampa, FL
John Schinka, PhD , National Center on Homelessness among Veterans, Tampa, FL
Over the past 20 years, the Department of Veterans Affairs has greatly expanded the programs and services provided to homeless veterans. Despite these efforts, over 75,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. These individuals experience high rates of medical, emotional, substance abuse, and legal and financial problems. A sizable minority (21%) of homeless veterans are age 55 and older; older veterans are expected to be an increasingly larger proportion of the national homeless veteran population over the next several years. Although older homeless veterans might be predicted to be especially vulnerable to chronic and acute medical disorders as a result of nutritional, traumatic, and healthcare factors, few studies have examined age-related differences in health and mental health status. The present study extends our previous research by examining comprehensive intake, admission, and discharge data from the largest VA housing intervention program (Grant and Per Diem) 2003-2009. Using data collected from 435 service providers, the sample consisted of 10,141 older veterans. Specific areas of interest include type and severity of medical issues, psychiatric and substance abuse problems, length and cost of treatment provided, living arrangements following VA services, and any follow up services provided to veterans after program discharge. We will present statistics describing characteristics of older homeless veterans, demographic trends over time, comparisons of older versus younger veterans, and examination of predictors of housing intervention outcomes. Findings from this study will be used to inform VA programs and services designed for older homeless veterans.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe two characteristics that distinguish older from younger homeless veterans and their impact on housing outcomes

Keywords: Homeless, Elderly

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a university professor whose teaching and research interests are focused heavily on health and mental health issues of the elderly
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.