SDoH are the nonmedical factors that can make it harder for you to be healthy and get the medical care and support you need. Some of the ways SDoH can affect you and your family include:
Sometimes a family goes through tough times due to job loss or illness. Family members may feel sad or worried about having enough money to buy food. During these hard times, there may not be enough food for the family to eat or to know when they'll have their next meal.
Since John has been laid off, he and his wife, Bernice, are having a hard time making ends meet on just her wages. Sometimes, they have to decide whether to pay for gas for their car so Bernice can go to work or buy enough food to feed themselves and their two children. Sometimes, John and Bernice skip their own meals to make sure their children are eating.
People face bad times when there is not enough money to get the things they need, which can lead to feeling worried and sad. Not having enough money can make it hard to pay rent, have enough space to live in, or the stability of living in one place for a long time. You might need to stay with other family members or spend most of your money on rent.
Maria has moved five times in the past year because she couldn't afford the increases in her rent. Now, she's couch-surfing with friends until she can find an affordable place to live.
When you do not have access to affordable, convenient, reliable transportation, it is hard to get places, including, school, daycare, grocery stores, medical appointments, and more.
Amir is 67 years old and has kidney failure. He needs dialysis 4 times a week to survive — but there is no public transportation near where he lives, and the closest dialysis center or hospital is 20 miles away.
People can be worried about violence happening in their homes or neighborhood, like being hurt themselves, seeing someone else get hurt, or being a victim of a crime.
After being physically assaulted and robbed on her way home from work, Nicole is scared and anxious every time she walks alone at night and has started taking a longer route home to avoid dark streets.
Sometimes people don't have water, electricity, phone service, internet, WIFI, or gas in their homes, which means they might not have working refrigerators, stoves, or ovens, heat in cold winter months, or running water for showers and toilets.
Since her parents couldn't afford to pay their utility bills, the apartment that Sonya and her family lived in didn't have running water or electricity, and they had to visit public bathrooms and use candles for light.
Access to education
In some areas of the country, especially urban and rural areas, many people do not have the access or the money to go to good public schools or attend college and trade schools to learn skills needed for well-paying jobs.
Dasan lives in a neighborhood that does not have access to good schools, books, or computers. They want to become a nurse but do not have money for school. They will have to go to work right after they graduate high school to help support their family.