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Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 1997 Jul;12(7):724-7.

The elderly homeless men in Bloomsbury hostels: their needs for services.

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  • Maudsley Hospital, London, UK.



The objectives of this study are: (1) to assess the feasibility and usefulness of using the Needs Schedule on older homeless individuals; (2) to measure the needs of the elderly homeless individual for mental health services and whether these needs could be met by the same services that cater for younger individuals.


This article analyses the needs of a subsample of 37 elderly residents in four inner London hostels for homeless people. Their needs were compared with those of 64 younger residents within the same hostels.


The data related to demographic characteristics and health problems showed that the elderly homeless were physically frail and socially isolated. This group demonstrated more need for physical health services than the younger sample. However, the needs assessment method used in this study failed to show significant differences between the needs of these elderly and those of the younger residents.


The article discusses ways of improving the assessment of needs for services in the elderly homeless and the way forward in meeting the needs of this disadvantaged group.

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