Homeless people have substantial health disadvantages as compared to the general population, and excessive losses in life expectancy. High proportions of psychiatric disorders, substance abuse and intellectual disability have been reported. This makes palliative care for this population extremely complex. A 55yearold man, addicted to heroin and cocaine, was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer. His terminal phase of life was complicated by many admissions to different care settings and problems with symptom management. Involvement of a palliative care consultation team and transfer to a homeless shelter, to which homeless people with lifethreatening diseases could be admitted, gave both the patient and his family relief. This case illustrates that palliative care in homeless patients may be extremely complex due to the specific physical and psychosocial features involved. Such care should be offered proactively and on a multidisciplinary basis.

Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Slockers, M.T, Baar, F.P.M, Den Breejen, P, Slockers, C.J, Geijteman, E.C.T, & Rietjens, J.A.C. (2015). Palliative care for a homeless person. Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, 159(36). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/90840