The last three years that I worked in Puerto Rico was in a center for people over 60 years of age in the town of Fajardo. It was back in 2014 and the needs of this sector of the population could already be evidenced.
The constant was older people living alone. The children lived in the United States, and they wanted to stay in Puerto Rico. Today the situation is more complicated. The exodus of professionals after the pandemic has created a crisis to obtain medical services with specialists. Hurricane Maria damaged many of the homes. Access to services for older people who cannot fend for themselves is difficult. Medical plans offer a range of benefits including transportation to medical appointments. But if the person does not have someone to coordinate their services, they suffer the consequences.
The government has not created awareness of the special needs of this sector of the community, further aggravating the situation. For seniors who can fend for themselves, have a good income, and are in good health, Puerto Rico is a paradise. The beaches, climate and the atmosphere of eternal festivity is the ideal environment to retire. But you have to plan that retirement so as not to suffer the ravages of the current crisis. If it is planned, there is no better place to live what we have left to live.
Maria M. Garcia Santiago, BA, MA
A Proud Senior