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Stroke rehab for Englishman in Spain

Stroke rehab for Englishman in Spain

Old Jan 28th 2015, 7:57 am
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Default Stroke rehab for Englishman in Spain

Hi

My father has lived in North West Spain (Galicia) for nearly 10 years and on 27 December he suffered a serious stroke that has left him bed bound and dependent on nursing care. He is currently in hospital and we have gone out twice since the stroke to spend time with him and to try and help. The doctor had now told us that he wants to discharge my father, despite the fact that he can hardly move and won't eat, so he is still on a drip and taking anti-depressants.

Although he has many Spanish friends, my father has lived alone for a long time and whilst he is eligible for Spanish healthcare, he doesn't have medical insurance to get him repatriated back to the UK for rehabilitation. Nor does he have any assets beyond his pension. Being an area which sees very few foreigners, let alone English, the expectation is that my Dad will be cared for at home by his family.

Now here's the problem: He no longer has any rights to healthcare in UK, he has no insurance or money to cover the cost of repatriation and he speaks very little Spanish. If he stays put he will end up in an old people's home in Gondomar where they speak only Galego and rehabilitation will be limited. If we fly him back to the UK, assuming he can cope with the journey, he will not be able to access the social services or NHS care and would have to pay the extremely high costs of private critical nursing care, assuming he can find a place.

So, what to do? Does anyone on the forum know of Expat organisations in Spain that would help get my Dad into stroke rehab in Spain, hopefully staffed by English speaking staff? It seems a tall order, but we are desperate to find a solution which can help our Dad.

Thank you
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Old Jan 28th 2015, 8:31 am
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Default Re: Stroke rehab for Englishman in Spain

Hi and a warm welcome to the Spanish forum on BE. Myself and Fred James are the moderators for the Spanish forums whilst BEVS moderates Europe. Moderators are there to ensure that the site runs smoothly within the rules of BE. This is so that members gain the information that they are looking for and find their experiences on the forums to be friendly and worthwhile.

Problems and complaints should always be addressed to a moderator who will look into the matter and deal with it efficiently and fairly. Our members who post in the Spain Forums are usually friendly and helpful with a wealth of knowledge about the issues of living in Spain. I hope that you enjoy your time participating in the forums.

Please let me know if you need any further help.

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Old Jan 28th 2015, 9:19 am
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Default Re: Stroke rehab for Englishman in Spain

I have no idea what would be available in the local area but you could bring him back to the UK and move him in to your place and care for him at home, trying to involve social services and health care services as you go. Sounds like that may be the more hopeful option.
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Old Jan 28th 2015, 9:33 am
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Default Re: Stroke rehab for Englishman in Spain

He is not well enough to stay with family right now, he still needs 24 hour nursing. A sensible suggestion, though, and one which will be followed up a little further down the line once he has improved and is less poorly. Thanks for replying.
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Old Jan 28th 2015, 10:09 am
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Default Re: Stroke rehab for Englishman in Spain

This highlights potential problems many do not want to think about!
Emlou, I believe there is an Age concern in Spain
Also, try the British Legion in Spain, and Citizens Advice Spain
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Old Jan 28th 2015, 8:36 pm
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Default Re: Stroke rehab for Englishman in Spain

If he has previously been in the army or navy you may be able to get help with repatriation. Give the Age Concern info line a call or email them. All the details are on the website. age concern espana

If you can get him back to the UK as long as he declares he is returning permantly then he will be entitled to healthcare from day one. The info line will be able to give you more information.

Hope you manage to sort something out.
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Old Jan 28th 2015, 10:32 pm
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Default Re: Stroke rehab for Englishman in Spain

Originally Posted by Emlou3
He is not well enough to stay with family right now, he still needs 24 hour nursing. A sensible suggestion, though, and one which will be followed up a little further down the line once he has improved and is less poorly. Thanks for replying.
Unfortunately this is what the Spanish system expects. Children are responsible when their parents get ill and need to either care for them themselves or arrange (and pay) for someone else to do it

My Spanish brother in-law has had the same issue and currently pays EUR2,000 per month for a nursing home for his father in-law

I am preparing myself for my Spanish parents in-law!
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Old Jan 28th 2015, 10:54 pm
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Default Re: Stroke rehab for Englishman in Spain

Unless you can get help in repatriation, then I'm afraid that the cost will be somewhere in the order of £10,000. A friend needed to be repatriated when he was dying from cancer and that was the cost. Fortunately he was an ex police officer, and the police federation did pay back the costs.
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Old Jan 29th 2015, 4:55 am
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Default Re: Stroke rehab for Englishman in Spain

It sounds like there is difficulty in deciding what is nursing/medical care and what is social care.
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Old Jan 30th 2015, 12:44 am
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Default Re: Stroke rehab for Englishman in Spain

I can empathise with the predicament you are in and can agree with comments already made. If the hospital are wanting to discharge your father, then he must be fit for discharge and medically stable. Don't worry about the anti-depressants, some doctors will prescribe them at the slightest hint of depression. Your father will be feeling very low because of the stroke. Clinical depression is something else. But there are anti-depressants that can stimulate the appetite so maybe he has been prescribed them for that reason. You say he is still on a drip; find out what is in the drip, why is he having this? Is he reluctant to take fluids? Is he incontinent of urine? Is that why he isn't drinking enough, so he thinks he won't wet himself? You say father is hardly moving. What exactly do you mean by this? Can he move either of his arms or legs. Can he hold a spoon and cup? Does he need feeding? Has he lost weight? How much? Has he any bed sores? Do the staff have to turn him regularly to prevent bed sores? Or can he turn himself? Has he a pressure mattress on his bed? Does he sit out of bed?(he should be for short periods of time) do the staff use a hoist to get him out(they should be if he cannot stand and transfer) is he constipated as that can affect his appetite. Has he any other skin problems requiring dressings? Has the stroke affected his speech? Can he make his needs known? Is he confused? Has he any cognitive impairment? Has he any other medical conditions? Once you have all this information, reply again then it can be determined if he has a nursing need or social need. I agree with a previous reply in that he should return to the UK if you can and of course he agrees. If he is going to stay in the UK then as said previously health care will be free. You say he is not well enough to stay with the family and needs 24 hour care, but with respect your lack of medical knowledge more than likely has made you think this. But if he could be returned to your home initially, even if only for a few days, I can advise you what to do next. But first things first, find out as much as you can from the hospital, then we can make a better assessment of his needs (All be it remotely)
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Old Jan 30th 2015, 4:46 am
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Default Re: Stroke rehab for Englishman in Spain

Good news, my father has been given permission to fly to the UK, which is one big hurdle over come. Now we can get him to hospital here and hopefully he will be able to progress through the system to rehabilitation. Thank you to everyone who contributed their advice and comments, it was appreciated.
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Old Jan 30th 2015, 5:16 am
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Default Re: Stroke rehab for Englishman in Spain

So good to hear that you have permission to take him to the UK as it will be much easier for you to deal with there. Wishing him a good recovery.

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Old Jan 30th 2015, 7:10 am
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Default Re: Stroke rehab for Englishman in Spain

Originally Posted by Emlou3
Good news, my father has been given permission to fly to the UK, which is one big hurdle over come. Now we can get him to hospital here and hopefully he will be able to progress through the system to rehabilitation. Thank you to everyone who contributed their advice and comments, it was appreciated.
Great news.
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Old Jan 30th 2015, 8:51 am
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Smile Re: Stroke rehab for Englishman in Spain

Originally Posted by Emlou3
Hi

My father has lived in North West Spain (Galicia) for nearly 10 years and on 27 December he suffered a serious stroke that has left him bed bound and dependent on nursing care. He is currently in hospital and we have gone out twice since the stroke to spend time with him and to try and help. The doctor had now told us that he wants to discharge my father, despite the fact that he can hardly move and won't eat, so he is still on a drip and taking anti-depressants.

Although he has many Spanish friends, my father has lived alone for a long time and whilst he is eligible for Spanish healthcare, he doesn't have medical insurance to get him repatriated back to the UK for rehabilitation. Nor does he have any assets beyond his pension. Being an area which sees very few foreigners, let alone English, the expectation is that my Dad will be cared for at home by his family.

Now here's the problem: He no longer has any rights to healthcare in UK, he has no insurance or money to cover the cost of repatriation and he speaks very little Spanish. If he stays put he will end up in an old people's home in Gondomar where they speak only Galego and rehabilitation will be limited. If we fly him back to the UK, assuming he can cope with the journey, he will not be able to access the social services or NHS care and would have to pay the extremely high costs of private critical nursing care, assuming he can find a place.

So, what to do? Does anyone on the forum know of Expat organisations in Spain that would help get my Dad into stroke rehab in Spain, hopefully staffed by English speaking staff? It seems a tall order, but we are desperate to find a solution which can help our Dad.

Thank you
If it was me I would put him in my car and drive to Santander, cross to the UK and see what happens. He is entitled to healthcare when he arrives. Take the drip out of his arm and make sure he has plenty of salts to drink even if he isnt eating. He is bound to be depressed but you just have to bear with him on that but he may not be as bad as you think. Good luck and my sympathy goes with you. Its something we all have to face but your case is particularly difficult.
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Old Jan 31st 2015, 5:58 am
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Default Re: Stroke rehab for Englishman in Spain

That is really good news, if the spanish medics say he can fly back to the UK, then his health is not as poor as first thought. If you haven't already, then contact the stroke unit or the specialist stroke nurse at the hospital where your father will be treated and explain the situation. It may be possible for the spanish medics to refer your father and fax his care and treatment to the receiving medics. This would make his care seamless from one country to the other and maybe from landing in the UK you can take him straight to hospital. Nurses are the patients advocate and from my experience love a challenge and will go the extra mile for people like your father( it's only the poor care that hits the press unfortunately). So try and speak to the specialist stroke nurse.
I have experienced this in the past with a man coming back from Cyprus and another from Spain. So good luck and hoping your father receives some good rehabilitation. A lot of money has been pumped into the NHS for stroke services in the last 15 years. Please post an update on your fathers progress.
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