Thursday, September 16, 2010

Poverty overwhelming elderly population

Seniors Advocate Rossana López León said Saturday that “poverty is overwhelming that population,” mainly women, who at present assume the responsibility of a grandmother or great grandmother.
The official said that, according to census a decade ago, in Puerto Rico, there are 70,000 grandparents who are responsible for their grandchildren under 18 years of age, a variable that will be updated now with new standards.
“That creates other demands for women, who aside from being mothers, are grandmothers with responsibilities that often affect their quality of life,” López said in a radio interview (Boricua 740-AM).
She said this situation is exacerbated because many times, for various reasons, parents will go to the U.S. and leave the children in the care of grandparents, without providing financial assistance, so that their meager incomes of less than $600 per month barely enable a life of subsistence.
“The elderly have a monthly deficit of nearly $1,500, as evidenced in many studies,” added Lopez.
She said there are also grandmothers who are assuming the responsibility for their grandchildren because the parents have died in the overwhelming wave of violence that is affecting the island.
López said the island’s economic situation worsens the problem for the elderly, because many children return to live with parents due to loss of jobs and transform their lives.

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