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mental handicap

mental handicap

Old Mar 6th 2019, 8:11 pm
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Default mental handicap

We are considering moving to Spain with our mildly mentally handicapped 39 year old son.
Is there anyone else on this forum that has made the move in similar circumstances and if so
can they offer any advice on facilities available as in day centres and respite facilities ETC.

Many thanks
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Old Mar 6th 2019, 8:33 pm
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Default Re: mental handicap

Facilities may vary from area to area so if you could tell members where in Spain you will be based this will enable them to provide you with the information.

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Old Mar 6th 2019, 10:20 pm
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Default Re: mental handicap

We moved here to the Basque Country in Sept 2009 with our Downs syndrome son, now 41, the eldest of our 3 children. The facilities here are excellent, though as Rosemary said, it might vary from province to province.
The Basque Country is among the "wealthiest" and has perhaps more opportunities, less unemployment than other Spanish provinces.

We live in a village/small town of 7000 people. It took the best part of a year for my wife, who is Basque, to sort out all the paper work for him, in order to get a %handicap. That's how it works here. Your child would need to be assessed by various specialists and you'd finish up with being given a % handicap figure. Based on that you can then access financial support. We get half a disability income for him from Spain and the other half from the UK.
Our son was assessed in England as "severe learning disability", but here that doesn't mean anything. He was given 87% disability here. He has no mobility problems. He speaks English rather limitedly but everyone likes to practise their English with him. He's very popular in the village! His Spanish and Basque amount to knowing important words like 'pan, aluvias, vino, pollo, cerveza, pintxo' (bread, beans, wine, chicken, beer and pintxo) as well as greetings.
He goes to "work" daily at a local centre specialising in employing 'handicapped' people and even receives a token wage.
There is a local social organisation for various disabilities, which he goes to once a week and at certain times of year they go on trips for a w/e or a whole week, such as Salou (Catalunya). They have various events during the year such as paella fiestas, 'Zumba' dancing, and regular football & swimming for those better able.
We do not access the Downs syndrome association as he gets enough pleasure with what he does.

There are 2 respite centres in & around Bilbao and he manages to get a place in them about twice a year, giving us a "break". They are usually permanently occupied. Middle of March he's going to Zarautz, a local seaside resort, near San Sebastian, so we're off for 3 days to Tarragona to explore!

Regarding health and doctors, we access the Spanish "National Health service", probably because of my wife, so we have no worries regarding health insurance as do other ex-pats.
He now has to sleep with an "apnoea" machine to help him breathe better when asleep. It was all provided for locally.

I may have missed out other things, but if you have any queries, feel free to ask.

Last edited by Retired in Euskadi; Mar 6th 2019 at 10:24 pm.
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Old Mar 7th 2019, 4:46 pm
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Default Re: mental handicap

Wow, that is really encouraging to hear your son is being provided with the care he needs.
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Old Mar 8th 2019, 8:41 pm
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Default Re: mental handicap

Thanks for all that information, it was very helpful.
It is of great coincidence that we are also considering moving to the Basque area as my wife's daughter is married to a Basque and she has been living in Bilbao for 25 years. We like the look of Castro Urdiales as it is close enough for family visits and also for my great desire to be close to the sea.
I think the biggest hurdle to us moving is that we live in Ireland and the welfare facilities are very good and generous. Our son receives 200 euro per week disability and we receive 250 euro per week carers allowance plus a lot of extras such as free travel, a respite grant annually of 1,700 euro, etc. We have been told that we would have to be resident in Spain for 5 years before we are entitled to claim for any benefits.
I receive a retirement pension from the UK and a Fire Brigade pension so I think we could manage financially but do not want to see our son without daily activity for 5 years.
Unlike yourself no allowances are transferable once we leave Ireland so there is no arrangement I know of to receive a % payment.
It sounds like our son is of similar ability as yours, his vocabulary is good but is difficult to understand for strangers, he can fly solo to Spain and England, washes, showers and dresses himself and is quite independent but would never be capable of holding a full time job.
Thanks for all the information and will keep you posted if we make progress
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Old Mar 8th 2019, 11:05 pm
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Default Re: mental handicap

I would suggest you think seriously. You would not receive those benefits in Spain or UK. I would use some of the money to fund long holidays in Spain and elsewhere.
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