Here in San Francisco, unfortunately, we have a significant homeless population and problem. But could we also have a traumatic brain injury (TBI) problem among this population of which we are not aware?
According to a new study by Canadian researchers and published in the journal BMC Public Health, the homeless population has a disproportionately higher risk for TBI compared to the general population.
According to the studies, researchers found that somewhere between between 8 and 53 percent of homeless people suffer from traumatic brain injuries. And the majority of these brain injury victims sustained a TBI before becoming homeless.
Traumatic brain injury impacts reason and judgment, memory, social skills, impulse control and a long list of other cognitive functions. What this research, and the nature of brain injury, demonstrates is that it is possible the effects of these individuals’ TBI led to their homelessness.
From our own personal injury practice, we have seen first hand the difference access to quality health care can make for an injury victim, especially where the injury is as complicated and intricate as a traumatic brain injury. It is not unreasonable to assume that many of these individuals who are now homeless due to a brain injury could have been vibrant contributing members of our society if only they had received adequate health care.