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Elderly Care

Spain - Elderly Care

Retirement homes are only just becoming popular in Spain. It has been the tradition until recent years for each family to take care of their own elderly, but this is now beginning to change as more and more women are choosing to work full-time, particularly in urban areas. It has often been the case that elderly expats have chosen to return to their home country if they felt that they needed care. With this in mind, some developers have spotted the gap in the market and are now planning many retirement complexes and care homes which will be aimed at the expat market.

In addition to this there are some state-run care homes but the concept of the hospice is still relatively new, and care for the terminally ill is provided usually in the home or at a hospital. A hospice has traditionally been seen as a place for the poor. However, there are some hospice facilities being established in some areas. The Cudeca Foundation has a hospice in Marbella which is run on charitable donations and staffed mainly by British volunteers. It is considered that both the care offered by hospitals and home care facilities are excellent in Spain, so hospices are not required in most areas.

Care homes that are already in existence can normally cater for relatively large numbers of people, with some having facilities for more than 100. These usually offer single rooms to residents, with communal lounges and dining rooms. However, waiting lists are often long due to the demand. It is estimated that there is less than half the recommended amount of care home places that are needed to cope with the aging population in Spain.

A number of residential homes offer a range of care services. Most have fully qualified medical staff and can help with physiotherapy, speech therapy and social work. Those who need assisted living facilities can also have their own kitchen facilities, laundry and do their own cleaning, with staff on hand to help if needed. Those who want full care living can expect a qualified doctor to visit regularly with nursing staff on hand around the clock. The homes will provide social activities such as outings, as well as activities which can help recovery such as using a pool or helping in the garden.

Those who are prepared to wait for a place at a state funded care home will need to pay the equivalent of 80% of their pension to cover the costs. Private residential care can be anything from €1700 to €3500 each month per person. These fees are out of the reach of most Spanish elderly as the average monthly pension is in the region of €700. Spanish nationals are often given priority for places at state run establishments.

As a result many people are opting for a ‘reverse mortgage’. This allows people to release equity in their own home to pay for the cost of an assisted living place. The bank will normally lend out 80% of the value of the property. Alternatively, home owners are trying a ‘renta vitalica’ in which the owner effectively hands over ownership of their home to the bank in return for residential care payments until death or for as long as they need them.

While most homes are individually run, Sanyres is a chain of residential care homes (residencia de ancianos). There are 17 homes and there are plans to develop more. Facilities range from apartments for more independent living to en-suite rooms for those who need more assistance.

Useful Resources

Tel: + 34 600 95 47 23
Email: olive@sanyres.es

Read more about this country

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