Pathways to homelessness among older people in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Brazil’s rapid development has led to profound social and economic stresses. Ten million people are aged 65 and over in Brazil, comprising 6% of the population. Recent governments have sought to improve the lot of older people through progressive non-contributory pension schemes covering both rural and urban populations. Nevertheless, as in many developing countries, older people remain largely dependent upon family support, particularly in the event of the onset of disability There are no reliable estimates of the number of homeless persons in Brazil. In Brazil, rural poverty, rural-to-urban migration and income inequality are all likely to contribute to homelessness. This research investigated pathways into homelessness for older people through a survey of all older residents of public hostels in Rio de Janeiro.