Elderly Care in Spain and the Islands

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 4 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #57054
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    Anonymous
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    Many of us who buy second homes in Spanish territory sit on the fence when the issue arises as to whether we should sell up in UK and there are many issues personal ones and memories but also taxation -indeed if one prefers to be in Spain and there is little inclination to go back that is important. But the one that lurks in my mind and this can be important whether single or with a partner if at some point you need looking after for reasons of dementia or Alzheimers. If you have a lot of friends and there is an ex -pat community this can help. But I know ladies who go out at night -indeed moonlighting and I discreetly find out that often it is looking after somebody like this who is indeed Spanish. The problem is not just in UK. If you go into a Home in Spain it can be cheaper than in UK but you still have to pay and if you want to stay in the sun and can speak enough Spanish and like the food and wine with meals and the culture -singing etc -a good idea. Maybe it eats up your savings and all your pensions and even if you sell your bungalow house or flat if you are happier there why not than what might be suffered in UK. But one last thought. If you have been paying your bit of tax to Hacienda and your IBI bills and you have no home to go to in UK and you are Spanish Resident what happens if your money to stay in the home falls short . Yes still have UK State Pension and maybe private one but its not enough. Will the Spanish State look after you -or will you be put on a plane back to UK and dumped in the cheapest rat hole that can be found in Walsall West Midlands location just taken without knowledge of but you know what I mean. Now if at that time we are in the EU then I think the Spanish State ought to be responsible to top up your payments. If we left the EU I am not so sure. My thought was that this is an important matter and maybe a thread that we can come back to and add to from time to time. I will try to myself from what I find out. P

  • #112920
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    Anonymous
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    I know of a few people in care homes, if they really dont have any money or family then it will be provided by the state
    In the case you talk about, the pension is used to fund the home and then extended family will be asked to contribute to pay the shortfall.

  • #112921
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    Anonymous
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    Interesting fern 999 -I am still in UK and not coming out till November. We have had sunny days but lots of bad wet dull days and its getting darker ! Yes I am craving my Canarias flat and think maybe I need to leave UK sometime soon ! But what do you mean ‘extended familly will be asked to contribute’ I mean OK you have your pension State and private that continue unto death and for some time savings and things like shares and bonds maybe. But when only State Pension from UK and private pension and small savings are left 1) Suppose relatives in UK cannot /wlll not pay ? 2) Presumably any private property ie a flat has to be sold. But suppose you have dementia following a stoke or TIA as they call it and cannot manage your affairs -Do they have some equivelant of a Care Manager in the Districts of Spain and Islands. No doubt if one decides to uproot from UK and live in Spanish territory one must do something while one is A1 or A2 and maybe with an abogado who is not corrupt and can be trusted ?! Good to get a reply on this and thank-ypou Mark for sending me a prompt email about this.

  • #113109
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    katy
    Spectator

    “Care” as we know it is non-existent in Spain…google it!

  • #113111
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    Anonymous
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    Well Katy one day I walked down to the bus and missed the 12.30 from the village down to the sea and there is a gap until 3pm so I started walking the 8 kilometres as I often do -but a little way down a small van stopped at a corner and I asked the pleasant ladies inside for a lift and they took me most of the way to where they turned off because they were going back to another town. They were part of the Social Services who look after the older people. In our house one small unit is occupied by a lady who goes out at night to look after a lady with dementia and apparently there are quite a few as people live a ripe age in the Canaries in this climate. But I have been told there are homes and it costs about 1000 euros a month. Indeed the mother of my neighbour is in early 80’s and is a bit of a wanderer and turns up to water the plants at 7 am -families do look after people as some do in UK but as you say Katy I don’t think the system is as organised as in UK and probably you have to plan what you would do in Spain in an eventuality of needing care. ie finding possible homes going to visit them and maybe having a discussion as how they might help as well as investigating with local social service providers. This is not something everybody will be concerned with but if you are over 65 even if you have a partner -one will be left behind -who did not plan to return to UK.

  • #113124
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    katy
    Spectator

    There was an awful case a few years ago where a British woman took her husband to Málaga airport and dumped him. He was suffering from Alzheimers. Have seen quite a few people struggling as they have got older. eg/ Some because they have a lot of steps, need gas bottles and can’t lug them around. One couple we know, Husband had a stroke, he was discharged from Hospital the first week and he was paralized, they lived on the third floor with no lift…no help at all, his wif was at the end of her tether. There will be some care but services are scrappy.

  • #113125
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
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    Ptr wrote:
    Well Katy one day I walked down to the bus and missed the 12.30 from the village down to the sea and there is a gap until 3pm so I started walking the 8 kilometres as I often do -but a little way down a small van stopped at a corner and I asked the pleasant ladies inside for a lift and they took me most of the way to where they turned off because they were going back to another town. They were part of the Social Services who look after the older people. In our house one small unit is occupied by a lady who goes out at night to look after a lady with dementia and apparently there are quite a few as people live a ripe age in the Canaries in this climate. But I have been told there are homes and it costs about 1000 euros a month. Indeed the mother of my neighbour is in early 80’s and is a bit of a wanderer and turns up to water the plants at 7 am -families do look after people as some do in UK but as you say Katy I don’t think the system is as organised as in UK and probably you have to plan what you would do in Spain in an eventuality of needing care. ie finding possible homes going to visit them and maybe having a discussion as how they might help as well as investigating with local social service providers. This is not something everybody will be concerned with but if you are over 65 even if you have a partner -one will be left behind -who did not plan to return to UK.

    My wife has a friend who is helping a Brit to get some help in his own home, he is unable to do the basics for himself and is relying on neighbours to help him.

    They have been involved with social services for months and have been told that it will be another 9 months or so before the paperwork and assessments are done.
    Then based on merit he should get a bit of help at home, maybe an hour a day, but the social worker said that with the cuts she cannot be sure, even though she will do her best.

    This is under the “ley de dependencia” which is help for all who need it by law, but with such a long delay I am sure a lot will die before help is available.

    As for planning ahead, getting Spanish social services involved to see what help is available beforehand is a complete non starter, as the social workers are snowed under with the workload they already have.

    One of the reasons for a heavy workload, is that due to the length of time to process a claim (over a year) not many cases are being closed, and still ongoing.

  • #113126
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    Anonymous
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    Appreciate these comments that show how much one needs friends if no relatives and an expat community useful. In my vilage there is a big spanish social club that does excursions and we have dancing other activities and meals -learning the language helps a bit. But I can see the point about social services being stretched. However it seems that getting private carers in your home is not so difficult -people are often keen to do it and I know one or two on the social who moonlight and they need to because they don’t get enough benefit . In the matter of Care Homes it seems that if you can identify one that might suit you if you need it and are paying yourself then there is less problem provided a vacancy -if you are paying yourself maybe they will be keener ? I see the points about getting an assessment done under the Ley de dependencia but this will only be necessary later if you run out of money -so obviously it pays not to as in UK -In UK if you choose a home and are self financing you pay a bit more than social funded ones who don’t pay themselves but you get your feet in the door of one you have chosen and later sometimes you can stay in that one there local Authority funded and sometimes topped up by relative. If an assessment in Spain takes time the assessment can be requested in time for when its needed. Iwill try to find out what the requirements are to qualify under an assessment for Spanish state provision ie length of residency tax payments and if it varies from province to province when I am there.

  • #113127
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    Anonymous
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    @Ptr wrote:

    Appreciate these comments that show how much one needs friends if no relatives and an expat community useful. In my vilage there is a big spanish social club that does excursions and we have dancing other activities and meals -learning the language helps a bit. But I can see the point about social services being stretched. However it seems that getting private carers in your home is not so difficult -people are often keen to do it and I know one or two on the social who moonlight and they need to because they don’t get enough benefit . In the matter of Care Homes it seems that if you can identify one that might suit you if you need it and are paying yourself then there is less problem provided a vacancy -if you are paying yourself maybe they will be keener ? I see the points about getting an assessment done under the Ley de dependencia but this will only be necessary later if you run out of money -so obviously it pays not to as in UK -In UK if you choose a home and are self financing you pay a bit more than social funded ones who don’t pay themselves but you get your feet in the door of one you have chosen and later sometimes you can stay in that one there local Authority funded and sometimes topped up by relative. If an assessment in Spain takes time the assessment can be requested in time for when its needed. Iwill try to find out what the requirements are to qualify under an assessment for Spanish state provision ie length of residency tax payments and if it varies from province to province when I am there.

    The ley de dependencia has nothing to do with money, it is for people who cannot physically manage the basics.
    It is not possible to have an assessment done beforehand, as social services will not accept a case until it is referred by and backed up by medical reports from a doctor, who has to state the actual capabilities and health of the person, not the projected ones.

    A lot of people seem to forget that there is a huge problem with an ageing population in Spain and services are being cut, the only advice I would give to anyone who finds themselves having to rely on social services in Spain, who does not have the money to pay for help in their own home or a private care home, would be to head back to their own country of oregin.

    Sad but true and the best option.

  • #113134
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    Anonymous
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    Good points fern. However reading between the lines there is seemingly State Provision in Spain depending on an assessment of care need. In UK there is no State provision for what is classed as social care -that is provided in private homes but fees can be paid by Local Authority subject to means testing.apart from NHS care that has strict assessment criteria. It is not difficult to get private help at home in Spain if you pay and you need not overpay and if your home is accessible easily and near a shop or Spar delivery route you could survive. Near my flat is the regional ambulance centre and usually one outside day and night and drivers waiting. But in Spain I know there is private care provision -Nursing Homes are advertised next to housing developments -maybe don’t come cheap on the Costa Blanca. However the question arises if you are accepted by any private care or nursing home and you are Spanish Residente -you have paid Spanish Residente taxes to Hacienda -you apparently have a qualifying dependency condition -will the State assess you and top up your fees if your pensions and remaining resources in a private establishment or at that point admit to you to a State Provided home under the Ley de dependencia. When after proceeds of sale of a home are exhausted and funds are insufficient at an age you could not be reasonable expected to move or travel back to a UK where you have no base and nobody mayeven remember you and where as you have not been resident in a UK Local Authority catchment area -no authority is liable to pay your fees ?

  • #113135
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    Anonymous
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    It is an interesting discussion. What is Spain going to do with it’s own ageing population and also the retirees of other EU nations?

    What will happen to so many Brits who moved to Spain when fit and well and then suddenly one part of a couple passes away and the other in time needs more care.

    Why would Spain have to fund any of the care? Brits, Dutch, German or whoever made their own decision to retire to Spain.

    If care homes were so blooming expensive I would say that more people would be happy to move into one.

    I’ve said on here before maybe that whole developments of unsold properties should be turned into elderly care ‘homes’ where people rent rather than buy. A rental which includes care could be more manageable than buying a property and then the inheritors having to sell (which happens in the UK so often).

    The Spanish Gov. should be training up Spanish youngsters to be physios, nurses etc. as there should be stable employment in caring for elderly people.

    It should be a great opportunity for Spain to show that it can do the right thing and create well priced elderly care and encourage older people to safely move there.

    Guessing, I would say that 400 euros per month was more than enough to have a room with en-suite in a ‘development’ where there are carers. It would include meals etc. A rental of a 3 bedroom place is currently around 300 euros per month as a standard rental home.

    Make it value for money.

    They won’t…. if they do they’ll copy the UK and make care homes so expensive that it turns the whole process of ageing into a nightmare for all involved. Shame.

  • #113184
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    Anonymous
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    @Ptr wrote:

    Good points fern. However reading between the lines there is seemingly State Provision in Spain depending on an assessment of care need. In UK there is no State provision for what is classed as social care -that is provided in private homes but fees can be paid by Local Authority subject to means testing.apart from NHS care that has strict assessment criteria. It is not difficult to get private help at home in Spain if you pay and you need not overpay and if your home is accessible easily and near a shop or Spar delivery route you could survive. Near my flat is the regional ambulance centre and usually one outside day and night and drivers waiting. But in Spain I know there is private care provision -Nursing Homes are advertised next to housing developments -maybe don’t come cheap on the Costa Blanca. However the question arises if you are accepted by any private care or nursing home and you are Spanish Residente -you have paid Spanish Residente taxes to Hacienda -you apparently have a qualifying dependency condition -will the State assess you and top up your fees if your pensions and remaining resources in a private establishment or at that point admit to you to a State Provided home under the Ley de dependencia. When after proceeds of sale of a home are exhausted and funds are insufficient at an age you could not be reasonable expected to move or travel back to a UK where you have no base and nobody mayeven remember you and where as you have not been resident in a UK Local Authority catchment area -no authority is liable to pay your fees ?

    I don’t really know the answer to your question, but to get any sort of help with the LDD takes ages, most in a situation of real need will have fallen off the perch.

    Things here are not as in the UK, there is no obligation for the state to do anything for anyone, that is why people are being evicted with old and infant family members and there is no obligation to give them shelter not matter how old or young they are.

    Of course some expats will be in Spanish care homes, I presume paying and in many cases unable to make themselves understood or understanding what is being said, and having to get used to a whole new diet of Spanish food, that would make you toes curl, due to the poor quality.

    My advice would be to sort things out while you are still well enough to do so and head for the UK when the time comes

  • #113185
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    Anonymous
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    Good points fern. Yes Spanish food can be nice and I know it can be nice with wine in some very ordinary French Care homes but in Spain you seem to have evidenced from experience of others that it can be very different -not to mention the language and dialect issues and the convenience it provides uncaring unwilling and simply lazy carers to neglect you. Indeed going anywhere strange when incapacitated is never easy. It suggests to me the importance of making careful decisions if a property owner in the matter of limiting ones stay there to 182 days as no residente and having somewhere in UK to return to.One can miss out on the option to sell ones Spanish property after 3yrs CGT free if over 65 – there are risks to weigh up ! However there might be people who have had a better experience than the more frightening scenarios – my feeling is its necessary to speak fluent Spanish . know somebody where you plan to stay have friends and relatives nearby and plenty of money to last as long as necessary -the very last one being a big problem. The EU has lots of Directives – there are Directives about Free Movement -Where is the Care & Deoendency Directive !!! Feel well warned fern 999!!! Thanks

  • #113190
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    Anonymous
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    @Ptr wrote:

    Good points fern. Yes Spanish food can be nice and I know it can be nice with wine in some very ordinary French Care homes but in Spain you seem to have evidenced from experience of others that it can be very different -not to mention the language and dialect issues and the convenience it provides uncaring unwilling and simply lazy carers to neglect you. Indeed going anywhere strange when incapacitated is never easy. It suggests to me the importance of making careful decisions if a property owner in the matter of limiting ones stay there to 182 days as no residente and having somewhere in UK to return to.One can miss out on the option to sell ones Spanish property after 3yrs CGT free if over 65 – there are risks to weigh up ! However there might be people who have had a better experience than the more frightening scenarios – my feeling is its necessary to speak fluent Spanish . know somebody where you plan to stay have friends and relatives nearby and plenty of money to last as long as necessary -the very last one being a big problem. The EU has lots of Directives – there are Directives about Free Movement -Where is the Care & Deoendency Directive !!! Feel well warned fern 999!!! Thanks

    Caring for the elderly has usually fallen on the family, usually a daughter stayed single and took care of the parents, but things have changed a lot.

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