San Juan offers $3.2 million to elderly population
By John McPhaul
San Juan Mayor Miguel Romero Lugo announced Sunday the availability of more than $3.2 million in Community Services Block Grant Cares funds, so that some 150 elderly and disabled adults can benefit from the housekeeping service offered by the Department of Community Social Development.
In order to improve the quality of life of the aforementioned population and to alleviate the burden of household chores, some 40 older adults are the first to join 29 other families that currently benefit from the funds allocated for their care as well as those with special needs, the mayor said.
“The elderly population requires our attention and care since many are not able to fend for themselves,” Romero Lugo said in a written statement. “Today, I am satisfied to be able to announce that we can collaborate with 40 additional citizens, who urge the cooperation of a friendly hand to be able to survive and have a better quality of life.”
“In addition, in May we celebrate Population of Older Adults Month and what better way to do it than by helping our elderly people, who for so many years worked hard, sacrificing themselves for others,” the mayor added. “Today, it’s up to us to take care of them.”
The mayor said the funds were approved by the Office for the Socioeconomic and Community Development of Puerto Rico, as part of an amendment to the budget in order to increase the number of people who benefit from the aid.
“As of today, there is a waiting list of 280 candidates who meet the requirements and now, thanks to the efforts of this administration, we will be able to reduce that list by 54 percent,” he said.
Romero Lugo pointed out that citizens who qualify to apply for assistance must be residents of San Juan, be over 60 years of age be experiencing economic indigence according to the guidelines on poverty levels, and have two of the following needs: assistance to get up, go to bed, use the toilet, eat or make food, help to bathe, lose control of urine and evacuation, present a mental health condition that limits them in carrying out daily activities, and lack support assistance from children or relatives.
It was also detailed that the housekeeping service for the elderly is four hours a day, and for people with functional diversity, three hours a day.
The mayor said he will continue working in the search for more federal funds that serve to help the elderly and meet their needs.
“This population is one of the most vulnerable segments, due to its characteristics and particular needs,” Romero Lugo said. “We will not stop [helping] them spend their last years in the way they deserve.”