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Mon May 14, 2018, 12:00 PM

Listless and lonely in Puerto Rico, some older storm survivors consider suicide

HUMACAO, Puerto Rico — A social worker, Lisel Vargas, recently visited Don Gregorio at his storm-damaged home in the steep hillsides of Humacao, a city on Puerto Rico’s eastern coast near where Category 4 Hurricane Maria struck last September.

Gregorio, a 62-year-old former carpenter who lives alone, looked haggard. He said he had stopped taking his medication for depression more than a week earlier and hadn’t slept in four days. He was feeling anxious and nervous, he said, rubbing his bald head and fidgeting with the silver watch on his wrist. His voice monotone and barely audible, he told Vargas he had had thoughts of suicide.

The overall suicide rate in Puerto Rico increased 29 percent in 2017, with a significant jump after Hurricane Maria, the Puerto Rico Department of Public Health reports, and that anguish is continuing.

Gregorio’s descent from heartbroken but determined storm victim to this moment of despair is a path traveled by many older people here in Puerto Rico. Psychologists and social workers, like Vargas, say elderly people are especially vulnerable when their daily routines are disrupted for long periods. Those who were once active, she said, now stay home alone.

Read more: http://www.sfexaminer.com/listless-lonely-puerto-rico-older-storm-survivors-consider-suicide/

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Reply Listless and lonely in Puerto Rico, some older storm survivors consider suicide (Original post)
TexasTowelie May 2018 OP
hlthe2b May 2018 #1

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Mon May 14, 2018, 12:02 PM

1. I am unable to put into words...

May there be some miraculous response that comes form this reporting. They are our fellow citizens. They deserve so much better.

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