Thursday, September 08, 2005

Grey pound fuels Costa retirement homes

The increasingly greying population of the Costa del Sol ? where the number of over 80s has increased by 50 per cent in the last ten years ? will soon give rise to a new wave of property investment developments catering for the demands of an aging population, the leading Spanish daily Sur has predicted.

Property investment resort complexes incorporating nursing home services, such as medical care and supported living assistance alongside the traditional pools, have already begun to spring up across the Costa del Sol, and the trend is set to grow exponentially as the local health services become more strained and a current generation of retirees' ages."

The phenomenon of retired people from abroad arriving here was especially prevalent a few years ago because of the economic situation in the country. Spain was cheap for them," Ricardo Sanchez Bocanegra, chairman of the Federation of Costa del Sol Foreigners' Associations told Sur.

The Spanish health care system on the coast, which has already had to deal with an aging Spanish population as the young emigrate to the economic opportunities of the cities, is struggling to cope with the strain say experts "Foreigners living in the province have had a tremendous influence on the ageing of the population and that causes problems of health care because this floating population is not taken into account", comments geriatrician José Antonio Lopez.

The situation is further aggravated by foreigners with a second home in the province taking advantage of their stay here to receive free medical treatment, as guaranteed under an EU agreement. In addition to saturating the health services the growing number of elderly people has led to a shortage of places in old people's homes.

According to the Malaga Association of Homes for the Third Age there are 5,400 beds in state and private old people?s homes for a population of 43,000 over 80s.Faced with a shortage of public resources, and wishing to maintain their independence, the emigrant population of the coasts are already trading in their resort style condos for the new style supported and permanent retirement home investment property developments.

This will be supported by the wide number of middle aged and younger Europeans currently heading to the south coast of Spain looking for property investment opportunities and holiday homes, says Mr Bocanegra. "The free movement of workers and the fact that elderly relations are already here is attracting younger people to the country," he said.


Post a Comment

<< Home