Living In Spain
After the General Assembly business last Thursday 2nd November Candy Wright, from Help Marina Alta (HelpMA), spoke to the assembled members about living and getting older in Spain and briefly about the work that her charity does for those in need in the Marina Alta.
Candy suggested we consider and action the following to make life and getting older easier for anyone living in Spain.
She recommended, as a courtesy to the doctors of the Spanish Health Service and for our own personal pride, we should learn the Spanish for our height, in metres, and weight, in kilograms – as this is always the first question when seeking hospital support.
- She advised we should know the names of the tablets we are taking and, importantly, why we are taking them – again something hospital doctors need to know.
- She recommended we identify where we could get help in an emergency as we get older and that we list the contact details of family and friends should they need to be contacted in an emergency.
- She suggested we gather, possibly in a big box, all our important documents and copies of those we are carrying with us. The box should hold:
- Copies of Passports, SIP, Driving Licence, Padron & Credit Cards.
- Original of our Wills, for Spain and our home country.
- Original of House Documents, Insurance etc.
- Copies Car documents and car insurance.
- Consider whether you are entitled to Blue Badge disability parking permit and consult with your local social services office. Remember the process is long and can take up to two years. So when completing the application stress your discomfort/pain/disability on your worst day, not your best days.
- As you get older review the suitability of your home and its accessibility to health support services. If necessary consider downsizing or moving into a village where health support services and shops are more available. HelpMA have details of Residential Homes should they become necessary but remember that entry can take up to 12 months to arrange.
- Make a note of those neighbours who are getting older and if you don’t see them about call around and check that they are okay.
- HelpMA have an Activity Centre in La Xara where they hold monthly group meetings for Parkinsons with visits from specialists and on other days lunch, for a chance to meet other people.
- UK Nationals who are pensioners may be able to obtain an Attendance Allowance payment if you need someone to help look after you and should be entitled to a Death Allowance. HelpMA have a lady in their team with whom you can consult if you are unsure or need help.
- HelpMA have Coordinators in many towns/villages, a Bereavement Councillor who can be consulted. They loan out medical equipment and work with the Spanish Red Cross and the Salvation Army to help people in need.
Next year Help Marina Alta will be celebrating their 40th anniversary so help them to continue their vital work with those in need and support them with a donation, attending an event or using their shops.
Written by Peter Sockett
Photos from U3A