Spain needs 70,000 more places in nursing homes to meet WHO standards

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Spain needs 70,000 more places in nursing homes to meet WHO standards.

THE country falls short of the World Health Organisation’s recommended ratio of five places for every 100 people over the age of 65.

In Spain, there are 389,031 places in nursing homes for the elderly distributed in 5,542 centres, according to data from the Institute for the Elderly and Social Services (Imserso), published after collecting information from the autonomous communities.

The Association of Directors and Managers of Social Services, which has analysed the report for 2019, has warned more than 70,000 places would be necessary to comply with the WHO recommendation.

According to the report, three out of four centres in Spain are private and 62 per cent of the places are publicly funded (242,206).

Although since 2010 the number of people over 65 has increased by 1.1 million to over nine million last year, residential places have only increased by 20,226.

In Spain, there are 4.2 places for every 100 people over 65, of which 2.6 are publicly funded, and 1.6 are privately funded.

Only five autonomies reach the recommended ratio: Castilla y Leon, Castilla-La Mancha, Aragon, Extremadura, Asturias, and Cantabria.

The main shortages are in Andalucia and the Valencian Community.

However, the study does not make it clear how many places are occupied and how many are managed by a company or a non-profit organisation.

As such, the autonomous communities have agreed with the Ministry of Social Rights to prepare a census on residences that includes information on age, sex and degree of dependency, as well as the characteristics of the infrastructure (number of floors, individual and shared rooms, etc.) and staff levels.


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Written by

Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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