2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10755/211498
Type:
Research Study
Title:
RECRUITMENT CHALLENGES: OLDER WOMEN WHO ARE HOMELESS AND DEPRESSED
Abstract:
Purpose: Older women who are homeless are relatively invisible on the streets, as well as in the research literature. This presentation will discuss methods for gaining entrée and recruiting older women for a qualitative descriptive study focused on their experiences of homelessness, depression, and aging. Background: Research is lacking about older women who are homeless. Studies have focused historically on men, as they comprise the largest subpopulation within the homeless community. Current research is focused primarily on homeless families and children. However, the homeless older adult population is growing dramatically as unmet demands for affordable housing continue unabated and increasing numbers of baby-boomers reach older adulthood. Older adults experiencing homelessness are estimated to be as high as 400,000, with the numbers expected to reach up to 800,000 by 2030 with one-third being women. Adults in this population are regarded as “older adults” at age 50 as  they age more quickly than similarly aged adults in the general population. The acceleration of their aging is due to the unremitting stressors of homelessness. Older women who are homeless experience unmet health care needs and more information is needed to target services and design appropriate interventions. Description: Identifying and recruiting older women who were homeless and depressed required several approaches. This population is difficult to locate as they often avoid shelters and move around within hard-to-reach encampments. As a community health instructor and a volunteer, I have been developing rapport and credibility with this population for the past nine years. I am familiar with the agencies serving this population, such as food lines, shelters, and drop-in centers. Recruitment involved the posting of flyers and referrals by agency staff and study participants. A large print business card with my contact information was created so participants could contact me at their convenience. All agencies offer phone use to clients and computers are free to use in public libraries and occasionally at an agency. Convenience and snowball sampling was the primary approach recruiting older women. Private space in one of the shelters known to be a place of safety was made available for talking with potential study participants and for conducting interviews. All participants interviewed received meal coupon to a local café as a thank you for their time. Participants chose a first name pseudonym for their interview. Outcomes:  Active agency support and my ongoing visibility led to the recruitment of seven older women who were homeless and self-identified as being depressed. Despite the desire for most homeless older women to stay unknown, several women indicated an interest in participating in the study. Many women stated that people needed to hear their stories and the difficulties they face on a daily basis. Implications: Long-term engagement was indispensable in gaining entrée into this unique community. A need exists to give voice to older women experiencing homelessness and depression, as well as other health problems. Recruitment is possible and future studies are needed to facilitate the development of effective interventions for conditions such as depression.
Keywords:
Homeless women; Depression; Aging
Repository Posting Date:
20-Feb-2012
Date of Publication:
20-Feb-2012
Other Identifiers:
5313
Sponsors:
Western Institute of Nursing

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.typeResearch Studyen_GB
dc.titleRECRUITMENT CHALLENGES: OLDER WOMEN WHO ARE HOMELESS AND DEPRESSEDen_GB
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10755/211498-
dc.description.abstractPurpose: Older women who are homeless are relatively invisible on the streets, as well as in the research literature. This presentation will discuss methods for gaining entrée and recruiting older women for a qualitative descriptive study focused on their experiences of homelessness, depression, and aging. Background: Research is lacking about older women who are homeless. Studies have focused historically on men, as they comprise the largest subpopulation within the homeless community. Current research is focused primarily on homeless families and children. However, the homeless older adult population is growing dramatically as unmet demands for affordable housing continue unabated and increasing numbers of baby-boomers reach older adulthood. Older adults experiencing homelessness are estimated to be as high as 400,000, with the numbers expected to reach up to 800,000 by 2030 with one-third being women. Adults in this population are regarded as “older adults” at age 50 as  they age more quickly than similarly aged adults in the general population. The acceleration of their aging is due to the unremitting stressors of homelessness. Older women who are homeless experience unmet health care needs and more information is needed to target services and design appropriate interventions. Description: Identifying and recruiting older women who were homeless and depressed required several approaches. This population is difficult to locate as they often avoid shelters and move around within hard-to-reach encampments. As a community health instructor and a volunteer, I have been developing rapport and credibility with this population for the past nine years. I am familiar with the agencies serving this population, such as food lines, shelters, and drop-in centers. Recruitment involved the posting of flyers and referrals by agency staff and study participants. A large print business card with my contact information was created so participants could contact me at their convenience. All agencies offer phone use to clients and computers are free to use in public libraries and occasionally at an agency. Convenience and snowball sampling was the primary approach recruiting older women. Private space in one of the shelters known to be a place of safety was made available for talking with potential study participants and for conducting interviews. All participants interviewed received meal coupon to a local café as a thank you for their time. Participants chose a first name pseudonym for their interview. Outcomes:  Active agency support and my ongoing visibility led to the recruitment of seven older women who were homeless and self-identified as being depressed. Despite the desire for most homeless older women to stay unknown, several women indicated an interest in participating in the study. Many women stated that people needed to hear their stories and the difficulties they face on a daily basis. Implications: Long-term engagement was indispensable in gaining entrée into this unique community. A need exists to give voice to older women experiencing homelessness and depression, as well as other health problems. Recruitment is possible and future studies are needed to facilitate the development of effective interventions for conditions such as depression.en_GB
dc.subjectHomeless womenen_GB
dc.subjectDepressionen_GB
dc.subjectAgingen_GB
dc.date.available2012-02-20T11:58:40Z-
dc.date.issued2012-02-20T11:58:40Z-
dc.date.accessioned2012-02-20T11:58:40Z-
dc.description.sponsorshipWestern Institute of Nursingen_GB
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