Older women ‘ashamed’ to ask for help until it’s too late

NEW data by Northern Rivers researchers has found older women are a hidden element of the homeless population and prefer not to ask for assistance until their situation becomes dire.

Southern Cross University researchers Dr Sandy Darab and Dr Yvonne Hartman co-wrote The housing pathways of single older non-home owning women in a rural region of Australia,published in the Journal of Rural Studies.

Dr Darab said unlike men, older women tend to wait until they really need help before they ask.

We found the women would not speak up until they were in dire circumstances,” she said.

“The women said they felt ashamed they did not have roof over their head and did not want to come to anyone attention until then.”

The researchers found the women were keen to share their experiences.

“When we announced we were going to conduct this reclaim we were contacted by over 100 women,” she said.

“We ended up focussing on 47 women and they were very clear in what they wanted as opposed to being told by bureaucrats how they should live.”

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