Assessment of socio-demographics, cognitive function and depressive symptoms in homeless seniors and community-dwelling seniors – a pilot study
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Institute of Health Sciences, University of Opole, Poland
Submission date: 2022-07-06
Final revision date: 2022-11-07
Acceptance date: 2022-11-07
Online publication date: 2023-05-05
Corresponding author
Antonina Gabriela Kaczorowska   

Institute of Health Sciences, University of Opole, Katowicka 68, 45-060 Opole, Poland. Tel.: +48 692 639 634.
Pol. Ann. Med. 2023;30(1):25-30
The effects of homelessness on homeless people are large. Elderly homeless are in a particularly difficult situation. Being rejected from professional, social and cultural life, homeless seniors may develop depression and cognitive dysfunction.

The aim of the study was to assess socio-demographic variables of homeless seniors and to assess the intensity of depression symptoms and the cognitive functions of older people from different life environments.

Material and methods:
Forty people aged 65 and over from the Opolskie Voivodeship were examined. The study group consisted of 20 homeless people. The control group consisted of 20 people living independently. Socio-demographics included age, gender, marital status, education and working status. The 15-point geriatric depression scale (GDS) was used to assess symptoms of depression. The clock drawing test (CDT) in the Sunderland version was used to assess cognitive functions.

Results and discussion:
The homeless seniors and those living independently differed statistically significantly in terms of education (P < 0.001) and working status (P = 0.004). The differences in GDS between the groups were not statistically significant. The differences in CTD between the groups were statistically significant (P = 0.029). Homeless seniors have significantly greater cognitive impairment. The collected results in our own study, using the GDS and CDT scale, do not indicate a diagnosis of depression and cognitive disorders, but may only suggest their occurrence.

Homeless seniors most often have a low level of education and are unemployed. Seniors experiencing homelessness demonstrate lower cognitive functioning.

We would like to thank the seniors for their contribution in this research.
This research received no external funding.
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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