By Norah Bond – Community Care

The Director of the Savier Residential Care Home in Los Dolses, Consuela Lopez, hosted a meeting of Health Care workers, involved groups and associations, on Friday, to discuss the appalling situation of Residential and Welfare Care for the elderly, vulnerable and disabled people of Orihuela Costa.

The gathering was attended by representatives of Plataforma Sanidad 100×100 Publica y de Calidad, The Community Care Association, Caritas, Help at Home Costa Blanca, The Royal British Legion, The Rotary Club Punta Prima and CLARO.

Top of the agenda was a government requirement, the provision of a Day Care Centre for the area, whereby health care services can be provided to all vulnerable groups, the right of every citizen of SPAIN, thereby enabling each one of us to enjoy a better quality of life.

In welcoming guests, Centre Director, Consuela Lopez, announced that the Savier Residential Care Home would soon be establishing a ‘Day Care Centre’ for anyone who meets the criteria. It will operate every Monday to Friday from 9am till 8pm, at a nominal cost to cover transport, where people can socialise, enjoy 2 meals and take part in a variety of activities, to improve their mental health, maybe learn a little Spanish, and make new friends.

The centre would also provide respite for the many carers who need a break, those who are in need of their own space, for their own mental health.

She said that groups, including the elderly, people over 65, the vulnerable and frail, as well as anyone with a disability of any age, will have the right to use their facilities.

Antonio Cerdan and Social Worker Maria Hidalga highlighted the many social welfare services available to those who meet the criteria for assistance, including Home help, Meals on Wheels for the disabled, Regional Law of Dependency, Rent Subsidies, Immigration and the Homeless, training for the unemployed and young people, victims of gender violence, as well as a wide range of other activities that MUST all be provided by the Town Hall and Centro Civico.

Unfortunately, In Orihuela Costa, this Government service, is currently not operating, although we are told that it should be reinstated during March, although no contract has yet been drawn up provide these services.

At the moment there is only one care worker afforded to provide home support for the entire population of 35,000 plus residents, a situation that is totally unacceptable.

Norah Bond, representing Community Care, said that she is also concerned that a centre for people with Mental Health issues is not made available, for those who desperately need such support. “We need an ADEIM Centre, the same as Orihuela city where there are currently two Centres operating, in addition to the one in Torrevieja, all three of which have qualified and specialist staff.  Currently anyone requiring such assistance has to travel to La Mata, Torrevieja, an absolute nonsense.

She also highlighted the need of a Centre for people with long term conditions, anyone who has suffered a stroke, Parkinson’s, Huntingdon’s, Motor Neurone Diseases, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Dementia?

Neither is there any assistance for those who have to deal with Drug abuse, Gambling and Alcoholic abuse, although these services are provided in Orihuela, Bigastro and surrounding districts, all of which have treatment Centres.

She spoke of the need for an English-speaking coordinator to provide people with information of available help and support.

Sylvia Sakir, from Help at Home Costa Blanca, offered to help raise funds for transport or equipment for the Day Centre, while Director, Consuela Lopez agreed to prepare more information, as well as offering  to give presentations to Associations, once the Day Centre opening date is approved.

Savia Residencias

The Savier Residential Care Home is situated in Los Dolses along C/Canal de Panama. Although it is managed by the private company Savia Residencias, it occupies a municipal plot, the tradeoff for which is the provision of 68 subsidised places for Orihuela Costa residents, alongside the 52 places that are currently available for private patients.