Measure for timely inspection of elderly care centers clears Senate
Sen. Keren Riquelme Cabrera
By THE STAR STAFF
The island Senate approved a measure this week that establishes a new rigorous and transparent process for the inspection of care centers for the elderly in Puerto Rico.
Senate Bill 836, co-authored by New Progressive Party (NPP) Sen. Keren Riquelme Cabrera and passed late Wednesday, also requires every care institution for the elderly to have an operable electrical generator and enough fuel to last a period of no less than 20 days without regular electricity service.
“We are always evaluating alternatives to assist the elderly, those men and women who built modern Puerto Rico,” the senator said. “We believe that the current Regulation No. 7349 (Regulation for the Licensing and Supervision of Establishments for the Care of the Elderly) is not sufficiently clear on the issue of power plants in care centers. That is why we wanted to make clear what the requirement is, that of a generator with the capacity to operate for 20 consecutive days.”
The bill, whose other co-author is Sen. Wanda “Wandy” Soto Tolentino, also establishes that the inspections conducted by the Family Department at such centers to corroborate the functionality of the generators and water cisterns will be carried out 90 days before the start of the hurricane season, as opposed to the currently required 30 days prior.
“A month is a short time to inspect senior care centers across the island,” Riquelme said. “It is urgent that this be changed to three months. This is to give each center that did not meet the requirements of an operational generator and water cistern time to correct the failures before the arrival of the hurricane season in June.”