PRS2107 Highlighting Problems Faced By Homeless: Aging At Home Assessment 2 Answer
Summative Assessment 2
Aging At Home
The housing environment has been considered as one of the factors that affect human health. Living style and housing environment is the root of various influencing factors of health. It involves indoor home safety, air quality, humidity, noise, and indoor temperatures, mold growth, asbestos, lead, radon, volatile organic compounds (VOC), lack of hygiene and crowding and equipment, sanitation, and many more are found to be most relevant possible health threats which are in dwellings. Physical, mental, and social health determinants are also affected by people living conditions (WHO, 2017). The housing quality plays a decisive role in the health status of the inhabitants. Housing also has a major impact on psychosocial and mental wellbeing as it serves as a base for attachment and identity.
Covid-19 (coronavirus disease) contagious disease affected the majority of the varied population in many ways. In January 2021, the number of confirmed deaths has been estimated at around 75,024 in the UK due to coronavirus. In April 2020, 1,224 deaths were estimated and recorded (Stewart, 2021). It has been reported that as increase infectivity and unavailability of the vaccine so far, are one of the important mitigation strategies in use globally for the purpose to decrease the prevalence of disease spread and 'flatten' the curve graph of infection has been achieved via distancing socially and physically ( Rimmer,2020). Various factors compromise physical distancing, such as poor housing, improper living environment, etc. (Tinson, 2020).
Moreover, people living in poor housing conditions have a restricted ability to practice physical distancing effectively and maintaining personal hygiene. Hence, the potential at great risk of poor health outcomes like infectious respiratory illness COVID-19. Since the relationship between housing conditions and Covid-19 health outcomes data is clearly not known. A study depicted that the poor housing conditions across UK counties are related to the higher morbidity and mortality of COVID-19 (Rimmer, 2020). Thus, the pandemic has accounted for health inequalities due to housing issues. The disease has affected the poor and the homeless is a more ruthless way.
This article discussed a case study highlighting the problems faced by homeless and poor people during the pandemic.
In this case study, a family of 4 was turned out of the lodge in which they resided for the last few years. The family included a kid, one elderly who was 80 years old. The lodge in which they stayed gave them a short notice of a few hours to look out for another accommodation. The lodge owner informed the residents that in light of social distancing guidelines extended during the COVID 19 pandemics, they are temporarily closing the lodge. It is worth mentioning that the government has also issued guidance of non-closure for the hotels that were giving shelter to the homeless people. The sudden decision of the lodge owners created chaos among homeless families. The problem seemed even bigger as in the pandemic; they would not get accommodation anywhere else as well. The families were in tears, and the scene at the doors of the lodge was quite tense. The lodge authorities were also not giving a refund or guidance for any other accommodation. Later the family was able to find a small room at a nearby hotel. Such a small room can always be unsafe and unhealthy for the elderly, who are more prone to the COVID 19 viruses.
In the UK, Travelodge, Northampton shire site, and many other hotel chains closed during the lockdown despite government guidance. Hundreds of residents were turned out onto the street during the pandemic. The country witnessed illegal evictions and immense trouble during this grim situation (Butler, 2020). Several people who suffered badly were travelers, homeless people, contract workers, and even medical travelers. A typically used by residents who have a second property abroad closed abruptly on Tuesday.
The government has taken several steps to reduce housing insecurity during the COVID-19 crisis. However, some groups faced increased housing insecurity. The data suggest that by May 2020, 14,610 people in England were housed, and between April and June 2020, in Wales, 1,859 people experiencing housing insecurity were moved into emergency accommodation. Despite these initiatives, in London, an approximately 33% hike in the number of people sleeping on the street was documented during the pandemic. 63% of the people were sleeping on the streets for the first time (National Housing Federation, 2020; Heath, 2020).
This case study and evidence highlight that the pandemic's impact on housing insecurity is felt hardest by homeless and needy people.
Evaluation of the Case
Living in a well-resourced house is an essential factor in maintaining good health. Especially in an emergency like the corona pandemic made is imperative to stay at home to be safe (Tinson, 2020). On the other hand, the pandemic came as a horror story for homeless people. Homeless people have poorer living conditions and lack basic facilities; thus, they are always at risk of infection. In the above-discussed case, the poor people were rendered homeless, thus exposing them to the risk of incubating infection. Along with it, the existing facilities were neither appropriate enough for maintaining social distancing, isolating, or washing their hands regularly.
Fore mostly, the case highlights the need for social homes or shelters for homeless people. The government should focus on providing economic and budget-friendly housing facilities for this vulnerable group. In the present scenario, it is also worth noticing that the homeless shelters are a high-risk environment as they have less space and shared facilities. The COVID-19 has raised serious concerns about the well being of homeless people. Homeless people are more exposed to poor-quality living like cold, damp, and other poor conditions (Heath, 2020).
The second relevant aspect highlighted in the case study is the corona pandemic's effect on the elderly and children. The older adults need more care, and legislation should bring more stringent laws to support this population's housing facilities. The poor housing facilities is accounting for housing inequality and henceforth significant health inequality. The children are the most ignored part of such a crucial aspect of living. The school's closure and staying at home has increased the educational inequalities (Clair, 2020). The homeless and poor children are not getting enough space to study in a quiet and private Place. The situation is widening educational inequality to a greater level. Data suggest that around 3.7 million people were residing in overcrowded places. Among these people, 1.6 million were children. This situation has accounted for a high risk of infection, depression, and sleep deprivation (National Housing Federation, 2020).
Lastly, the travelers and people of other ethnic groups are also immensely affected by this situation as these people who are staying in rented accommodations or lodges were rendered homeless. They were also living in small, shared, or poor living conditions. The Covid-19 Disparities Report published by the U.K government in June 2020 concluded that the virus inexplicably impacts the individuals from minority ethnic (BAME) groups and Black, Asian (Hodge Jones & Allen solicitors, 2020). The data depicted that individuals belong to the ethnic communities of minority and black resides in over-crowded areas. Thus, they found to be more vulnerable in this pandemic time period (Hodge Jones & Allen solicitors, 2020). Thus, this case study emphasizes a relevant housing issue that accounts for the widening of health, Racial and socioeconomic inequalities during the corona pandemic.
These vulnerable groups of people are living in poor-quality homes, facing health risks and financial uncertainty. It is worth remembering that the challenges brought on by COVID-19 have raised several questions which need to be addressed. The above case study has highlighted the various aspects of housing where the governments are still lacking.
The pandemic like Covid 19 has raised various questions on government effort and strategies for controlling further spreading of the virus, including housing impact (Abbs & Marshall, 2020). Housing is an important aspect of wellbeing and good life. According to WHO, health's main determinants include physical environment, social, economic, and individual characteristics and behaviors (WHO, 2017). The basic requirements for a healthy housing environment involve land use, urban development, transport, sufficient water supply, clean air, safe, secure, and stable global ecosystem appropriate for people's environment (Dovjak & Kukec, 2019). Despite all available research and data, housing is still a survival issue for various people. In 2012, International Health Observatory data reported that 12.6 million people died because of an unhealthy living situation (WHO, 2017).
Along with short-term policies formed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a need to rethink people's social policies over the longer-term. Henceforth, the policymakers and stakeholders should work together to improve the population's living environment—especially the vulnerable people like the homeless, elderly, children, and women. A few important aspects of improving the housing facilities are housing quality and standards of space, social housing growth, Local Housing Allowance increment, and private renting and maintenance of rented homes in social ( Heath, 2020; National Housing Federation,2020 ).
Social housing renders higher quality, security, and more affordable housing for renters than the private sector. Also, it has the possibility to decrease government expenditure on housing benefit, providing renters more options in place where they survive (Clair, 2020). Before the pandemic, the UK was already passing through a housing supply crisis, along with a lack of 1.2 million homes. A report by the Affordable Housing Commission 2020 stated that the pandemic had worsened the housing situation. The research reported by Shelter and Savills has represented a drop of 30% in social rent homes construction compared to the last year, which is around 4,300. Currently, the U.K government asked to raise the fund for new and existing social houses for the country's recovery from the coronavirus effect, as shown in the 'Homes at the Heart' campaign (National Housing Federation,2020).
Most Importantly, The government should develop new legislation to improve the tax and rate of accommodation and shared houses. The rules for the rented properties and the landlords should also be modified to fulfill the people's changing needs. Adequately fund requires protecting private renters from worse quality accommodation and unfair treatment and maintaining social rented homes (Clair, 2020). The government should develop an approach for proper land use to improve housing quality and space standards. This will help in dealing with the problems of shortage of houses. 1.5 times or above, people who reside in poor buildings have poor health outcomes than people residing in healthy buildings (Velux, 2015). Thus it is a need of the hour to develop housing projects for the homeless and needy.
The federation should provide care homes or shelters for the elderly by following the concept of active aging or an age-friendly environment. The Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) represented that present houses are not completely adjusted with the needs of the elderly (Börsch-Supan, 2016). Thus, it is imperative to develop social houses for the elderly and adults.
Lastly, more such steps are required to overcoming this discrimination faced by the poor group of society.
Summary and Recommendation
COVID-19 is a novel pandemic disease that needed unprecedented steps to preserve public health. However, the lack of equality is far from unprecedented. In the given case study, we focused on the relevant issue of housing. Covid-19 turned to be grimmer for those living in a poor socioeconomic status and facing inequalities. Moreover, the essential government efforts are minimum to cope with the current situation.
Data has suggested that most of the 60% of the adult population in Scotland, surviving in poverty employed in households have seen a reduced income and hours (Poverty Alliance, 2020). In the first three weeks, it has been determined that 1/4th of the household in the UK country vanished at the time of lockdown because of Covid-19. One of the major comparisons of health inequality during lockdown is those with people residing in affordable, good-quality, secure homes and gardens and those who pay high rents, insecure tenants, and have limited or lack of access to the outdoor area (Health Foundation, 2020).
Thus the present study and the relevant data suggest that economically disadvantaged people face many problems like increased chances of living in poor quality houses, overfilled accommodation, limited access to outdoor spaces, etc. Therefore, people are struggling to meet payments, increasing the chances of eviction at the time of the pandemic. Hence, income, poverty, and health have a well-established link among each other - more money defines better housing, diet, decreased stress level, access to care resources, and wellbeing (Douglas, 2020).
The government is taking various initiatives for the improvement of housing facilities for the poor in this pandemic. Despite their efforts, it still lacks behind. In such an unprecedented situation, the government has to be alert and pre-planned, so optimum care can be provided to the needy. Moreover, long-term initiatives are still needed to overcome health inequalities' long-term consequences (Patel, 2020).