Spain’s ‘care revolution’

Spain: Tackling loneliness

Checking on an elderly neighbour. Credit: SpeedKingz/

 The Minister of Social Rights recently announced measures to combat loneliness, among the elderly in Spain.

On Thursday, March 21, Pablo Bustinduy, Minister of Social Rights, Consumption, and Agenda 2030, Pablo Bustinduy, attended the unveiling of the SOLiEDAD report at the University of Salamanca.

This comprehensive study, by the International Centre on Aging (CENIE) alongside the university, aims to alleviate loneliness and isolation among the elderly.

Pioneering approach to elderly care

During his address, Bustinduy underscored the critical nature of such research and gatherings in tackling the pressing issues plaguing the country’s long-term care system.

He declared, ‘Loneliness is an issue of well-being and health that we must address from a community perspective and institutional responsibility and public policies.’ This marks a significant pivot towards preventative measures against the isolation of the elderly.

Bustinduy announced the forthcoming National Strategy against Loneliness. This initiative, dubbed ‘the care revolution’, signifies a proactive approach to addressing loneliness by fostering more intimate care solutions.

He stated, ‘We have to leave behind the times of welfare, social rights are not a palliative instrument but a pillar on which to build a more dignified society,’ showcasing a steadfast dedication to improving the lives of seniors facing solitude.

Fostering Dependency Care

The Minister also discussed enhancing the model of care through robust collaboration with the Autonomous Communities. This effort is vital for ensuring adequate care for those dependent on assistance.

With a commitment to boosting funding, which has already seen a 130 per cent increase from 2020 to 2023, Bustinduy aims for the State’s contribution to constitute 50 per cent of the total in each region.

Moreover, the initiation of the State Deinstitutionalisation Strategy was highlighted as a key measure to support the transition towards community-based care.

The minister drew attention to the report’s list of actions, emphasising the importance of reciprocity, community engagement, and social infrastructure in combating loneliness.

He reflected, ‘If we focus on older people, studies suggest that their feeling of loneliness does not have so much to do with the fact of being alone, but with the emotional distance they experience,’ reiterating the elderly’s desires for respect, closeness, support, and private spaces.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.