Spain: old people frequently live with their families
Spain has a lack of nursing home beds, which sometimes means that old people who cannot afford a private bed have to wait a long time for a free one. But the tradition of old people living with their families helps to compensate for a lack of places, doctors say.
Dr Isidoro Ruipérez, head of the geriatric unit at the Hospital Central de la Cruz Roja, Madrid, and president of the Spanish Society of Geriatrics and Gerontology, says that long term care of elderly people is “not guaranteed at all” in Spain.
He points out that, with a mean of 2.5 (public and private) nursing home beds per 100 people older than 65 years, provision is far below the ratio recommended by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development of 5 per 100 people aged over 65.
When old people cannot afford a place in a private nursing home, they