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With an increasingly aging prison population, how to care for inmates with chronic illnesses or other infirmities and those at the end of life has become an urgent challenge for federal and state governments, and for inmate and elder rights advocates.
An increasing number of prisoners need wheelchairs, walkers, canes, portable oxygen, and hearing aids. Many are incontinent or forgetful and need assistance to get dressed, go to the bathroom, or bathe, according to the Connecticut Office of Legislative Research. Authorities must balance appropriate care with ballooning health costs, determine who will provide care and pay for it. The situation is squeezing state correctional budgets, health services, safety-net programs and local communities.
Liz Seegert offers statistics, story ideas and resources for reporters to cover how this is impacting their local communities.
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