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In Puerto Rico, a new hurricane season threatens the elderly
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14 Jun 2018 12:25 PM EST

With another hurricane season starting, older Puerto Ricans have little to protect them from another storm on an impoverished island. Younger and wealthier people have been moving away for years. This has left an older and sicker population in the hands of an underfunded healthcare system. Tens of thousands more have fled since Maria. 40% of seniors rely on food stamps, more than 3 times the percentage in New York, the second-highest nationally. Yet the island has just six nursing homes - with a total of 159 beds - that are certified by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid. Puerto Rico relies instead on a patchwork of about 800 nursing homes licensed by the island’s Department of Family. About 7,000 houses and businesses still lack power, after Maria leveled a grid that was ill-maintained before the storm.

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