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Care of the elderly in Spain

Care of the elderly in Spain

Old Aug 14th 2017, 7:54 am
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Default Care of the elderly in Spain

I know a lot of people retire to Spain but I was wondering how the elderly are treated. I see my old dad in the U.K, with dementia, having a stranger visit him daily to attend to his personal needs and it all seems so depressing, as the frequently-changing workers clearly don't want to be there. It is sadly seen as a "menial" job and is usually minimum wage paid. Is this a cultural thing or is care of the elderly held in any higher regard in Spain? Obviously it would all have to paid for, and that is only right, but money aside, is it any different there or are our elderly seen as a burden everywhere?
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Old Aug 14th 2017, 7:59 am
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Default Re: Care of the elderly in Spain

In general in Spain the care of the elderly or anyone ill is down to the family and that can be exhausting and emotionally draining.

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Old Aug 14th 2017, 8:58 am
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Default Re: Care of the elderly in Spain

Ah right i take it there are not the care-in-the-home companies that are so prevalent in the UK then? Just wondering how expats manage?
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Old Aug 14th 2017, 9:10 am
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Default Re: Care of the elderly in Spain

I suspect that in an area with a high number of Brits that they have set up those sorts of companies and facilities but not all retired people move to those areas so I wanted to tell you what it is like for Spanish nationals and those living outside of the popular areas.

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Old Aug 14th 2017, 9:40 am
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Default Re: Care of the elderly in Spain

There is some form of care in the house in Spain. A neighbour of ours has a carer come in every day takes him for a walk and does household work. The neighbour is not particularly elderly maybe 60's and has difficulty walking due to an operation. He has been getting the care for at least 2 years now. No idea who funds it as the person getting the care is far from well off. I presumed it was ayuntamiento or similar that provided it may well be wrong. The carer is certainly not a relative.
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Old Aug 14th 2017, 11:30 am
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Default Re: Care of the elderly in Spain

Originally Posted by Damson View Post
I know a lot of people retire to Spain but I was wondering how the elderly are treated. I see my old dad in the U.K, with dementia, having a stranger visit him daily to attend to his personal needs and it all seems so depressing, as the frequently-changing workers clearly don't want to be there. It is sadly seen as a "menial" job and is usually minimum wage paid. Is this a cultural thing or is care of the elderly held in any higher regard in Spain? Obviously it would all have to paid for, and that is only right, but money aside, is it any different there or are our elderly seen as a burden everywhere?
Here in the Basque country there are quite a few "Residencias" as they're called in Spanish, namely 'care/nursing homes'. They can be anything up to €3000/month, which is a lot of money.
There are also some places where you can live at home but are taken to a day centre every day, but I don't know what they cost.

On top of this, there are also people who either live in your house/come on a daily basis or similar; these people are mostly Bolivians, who obviously speak Spanish, but little/no English.
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Old Aug 14th 2017, 11:43 am
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Default Re: Care of the elderly in Spain

Sorry I should have added Spanish neighbour with Spanish carer.
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Old Aug 14th 2017, 1:09 pm
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Default Re: Care of the elderly in Spain

Yes, same here in Alicante - if the family can't cope/arrange, then it is a residencia which can either be government or private with quality/facilities varied and yes around 2-3,000 euros a month. Also, live in carers which do tend to be South American who I understand are paid around 1,000 euros a month plus food/accommodation.
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Old Aug 15th 2017, 5:21 am
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Default Re: Care of the elderly in Spain

Sounds like the South American option is a good one so long as there is some supervision as to safety/fairness for both parties.

Last edited by jonboy; Aug 15th 2017 at 5:22 am. Reason: there not their, dammit!
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Old Aug 15th 2017, 6:09 am
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Default Re: Care of the elderly in Spain

Really interesting. We've noticed an exponential rise in homecare companies in our U.K. Town and I wondered if it was going to be a global thing. Out of interest, is there an ageing population "timebomb" like the U.K? Also, is the traditional close-knit family culture still strong in Spain these days? Growing up in the U.K. my best mate and her family were all Spanish and had the mum's parent living with them which to my British mind always seemed wierd but to her was normal.
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Old Aug 15th 2017, 6:49 am
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Default Re: Care of the elderly in Spain

Originally Posted by jonboy View Post
Sounds like the South American option is a good one so long as there is some supervision as to safety/fairness for both parties.
If you decide to go down this route, then often a word of mouth recommendation by someone regarding whom to "hire" works the best.
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Old Aug 15th 2017, 6:57 am
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Default Re: Care of the elderly in Spain

Originally Posted by Damson View Post
Really interesting. We've noticed an exponential rise in homecare companies in our U.K. Town and I wondered if it was going to be a global thing. Out of interest, is there an ageing population "timebomb" like the U.K? Also, is the traditional close-knit family culture still strong in Spain these days? Growing up in the U.K. my best mate and her family were all Spanish and had the mum's parent living with them which to my British mind always seemed wierd but to her was normal.
In smaller places the traditional close-knit family culture is very evident and quite often there are four generations living in one house. Also in my town it is very obvious that they also buy houses in the same street so even if they are not able to live in the same house due to its size they still attempt to be very close to each other. Even if they live in another part of the town they still make sure that they together every day for their chats. However, of course, there are families who live well apart due to things such as work commitments so overall there is a mix.

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Old Aug 15th 2017, 7:04 am
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Default Re: Care of the elderly in Spain

The South Americans appear to have a culture of looking after the elderly and are happy to take these positions with security of pay, food and accommodation. I hear of more problems with some of the residencias from Spanish friends of mine than with the home care option.
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Old Aug 15th 2017, 9:05 pm
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Default Re: Care of the elderly in Spain

Can only say what I see out here 'in the sticks' in Granada Province. Up to two generations of the family live in the same house. Older one downstairs, young 'uns upstairs. The Spanish around me care little about 'room' or the number of bathrooms etc., Family is far more important. Problem is that the younger persons are expected to care for their Parents when it gets to that stage, so unfortunately lives are put 'on hold' whilst this happens.


There is a definite expectation and clearly defined 'Duty' instilled into the children of the locals. That's how it is, and its not for me to comment on their culture.


In other cases, mostly when an older person lives alone, the local Ayuntamiento has a list of 'helpers', who are home helps basically. For a small fee, they come to cook a meal, clean and generally provide 'Company'. NOT medical services, though.


The big town nearby has two Residential homes, one run by the Province and one private. The difference in the standard is huge, but the Private one charges BIG bucks, which would exclude most of the locals as regards affordability unfortunately.


I am currently seeing my neighbours of 78 and 82 struggling, him with eyesight and mobility, her with Dementia. The neighbours have been very pro active, but their only daughter is clearly expected to look after them, she is a teacher and has two children...... what a dilemma.


So, attitudes and facilities vary WIDELY as regards the area you live. We are 59 and 60, and luckily have a choice. Our choice is that when things start getting too much for us, we will move to a more suitable location with a more contemporary population for sure. Love it here, but we know things change. Going back to the UK will kill (slowly....) us anyway, so we will evolve and adapt but keep living in Spain.
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