Learning Objectives

In this chapter, you are invited to learn more about the health and primary health care needs of people experiencing homelessness in Canada. While thinking critically to uncover the strengths and gaps in our health care response for persons experiencing homelessness, you are encouraged to reflect upon three key questions guiding this chapter’s learning objectives.

 

  1. We begin by reviewing the common physical health care needs of Canadians experiencing homelessness and asking the question, ‚ÄúDo people experiencing homelessness have equitable access to primary care?‚ÄĚ Spoiler alert: they do not. However, the answer to why they do not is complicated and entails a deeper understanding of how their primary care experiences are shaped through bias and stigmatization. The first section offers an opportunity to pause and reflect on how equitable our health care system is in Canada, and what can be done to improve primary care for individuals experiencing homelessness.

 

  1. Following the discussion of health care equity, our attention turns to more specialized primary care, with an exploration of responses to the question, ‚ÄúWhat specialized primary care would people who experience homelessness benefit from?‚ÄĚ This section provides an opportunity to dive a bit deeper into areas of health care ‚Äď such as foot care, hearing, vision, head and neck, and physical therapy ‚Äď that are relevant to people experiencing homelessness, yet often go untreated.

 

  1. In the final section, our focus turns to palliative needs with the question, ‚ÄúAre there special end-of-life considerations for someone experiencing homelessness?‚ÄĚ Throughout this section, you are encouraged to learn about, and reflect upon, the unique challenges that come from being without a secure and supportive place to die.

 

As you move through this chapter it is beneficial to keep in mind that homelessness is both a contributor to poor health, as well as a consequence of it. Despite having a universal health care system in Canada, not every citizen benefits in the same way. Read on to learn more about the primary health care needs of people experiencing homelessness in Canada and what can be done to improve health care outcomes for individuals without equitable access.

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Understanding Homelessness in Canada Copyright © 2022 by Kristy Buccieri, James Davy, Cyndi Gilmer, and Nicole Whitmore is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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