Hurricane Maria Still Taking A Toll On Puerto Rico’s Seniors

The question of who will care for Puerto Rico’s aging population is a growing crisis, says Dr. Angel Muñoz, a clinical psychologist and researcher at the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico in Ponce. The island’s elderly population is particularly at risk amid the new Atlantic hurricane season, which runs through Nov. 30.

Earlier this year, a study by Harvard researchers estimated that 4,600 Puerto Ricans died in the months after Hurricane Maria hit last September. Many were seniors who faced delays in getting medical care.

Meanwhile, projections show that one-third of Puerto Rico’s population will be 60 or older by 2020, even as the number of young people are increasingly fleeing to the mainland in search of employment, often leaving behind aging parents.

Full story at Kaiser Health News

Health Recovery in Puerto Rico: A Work in Progress

Three months ago, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. The health toll has been substantial, with reports of increased water-borne infections and storm-related deaths. For a time, hospitals lacked a working power grid and many outpatient facilities were shuttered.

Now, the health care system is slowly improving. Hospitals have reopened and patients are returning to doctors’ offices and clinics.

To get a sense of the current health status, U.S. News caught up with a family doctor and an island resident who previously described their struggles in the immediate Maria aftermath. In addition, physicians treating veterans and a medical volunteer talked about progress made and ongoing challenges.

Full story at U.S News