Advance care planning can help the homeless population by providing them with the opportunity to document their preferences for end-of-life care and ensuring that their wishes are respected if they become seriously ill or injured. Homeless individuals may face unique challenges when it comes to receiving healthcare, including difficulty accessing healthcare services and lack of continuity of care. Advance care planning can help address these challenges by providing homeless individuals with a way to communicate their healthcare preferences and ensuring that their wishes are known and respected by healthcare providers.
In addition, advance care planning can help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety that homeless individuals may feel about their uncertain futures. By documenting their preferences for care, homeless individuals can have a sense of control over their lives and ensure that their wishes are known and respected even if they are unable to speak for themselves.
To help homeless individuals with advance care planning, healthcare providers and community organizations can work together to provide education and support around advance care planning and ensure that homeless individuals have access to the resources they need to complete advance care planning documents. This includes bringing education about the importance of advance care planning, offering assistance with completing advance directives on the Thanacare platform, and ensuring that homeless individuals have access to healthcare services that can help them navigate complex healthcare decisions, including providing them with "traveling ACP."
Providing advance care planning services at the street level for the homeless population can be a unique and challenging task. Here are some possible strategies that can be used to provide street level advance care planning to homeless individuals:
- ACP platform: Healthcare providers can use the Thanacare platform to provide advance care planning services on the streets or in homeless encampments. Producing ACP that helps provide basic healthcare services, such as wound care or basic screenings, as well as offer information and support for advance care planning in the end-of-life care.
- Community outreach: Community organizations that work with homeless populations can provide outreach and education about advance care planning, providing information about the importance of advance care planning and the resources available for completing advance directives.
- Collaboration with homeless service providers: Homeless service providers, such as shelters or outreach teams, can collaborate with healthcare providers to ensure that homeless individuals have access to advance care planning services. This can include offering space for healthcare providers to conduct advance care planning discussions, as well as providing support and assistance for completing advance directives.
- Simplified advance care planning documents: To ensure that advance care planning is accessible for homeless individuals, healthcare providers can create simplified advance care planning documents that are easy to understand and complete. Customizing the Thanacare platform to meet the needs of this population is simple. This can include using pictures, video, or simple language to explain healthcare decisions, as well as ensuring that the documents are available in multiple languages.
- Training for healthcare providers: Healthcare providers who work with homeless populations may need additional training and support to provide effective advance care planning services. Training can include technology education, strategies for working with homeless individuals who may have complex medical and social needs, as well as strategies for providing culturally sensitive care.