I obtained a copy of your excellent magazine whilst on a recent UK visit from my home in Spain. My husband spent 27 days in our local Spanish hospital last year, so I thought I would share our experience with your readers.
I wish to tell you that here, it is expected and indeed, compulsory, for families and friends to look after the personal care of relatives in hospital ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT FOR AS LONG AS THE PATIENT IS IN HOSPITAL.
There is no provision given by nurses for assistance with feeding or washing, unless the patient is requiring specialised looking after following surgery.
Nurses are solely for nursing and care/attention after surgical procedures.
For general purposes, one could literally starve to death here, as meals are supplied in plastic trays with lids on and nobody can see if the food is eaten or not, and then the catering staff simply take away the trays after a set time without questions. The trays are placed at the foot of the beds on a table out of the patient's reach. If the patient is asleep, they are not woken or told that food has arrived.
The family will take care of all laundry except clean bedding which is provided by the hospital.
I have been told by an English lady at another hospital that she heard someone crying at mealtimes and eventually went out into the corridor to investigate.
She discovered a poor old man who was alone in a room following a stroke. He was unable to feed himself and was hungry and thirsty. He couldn't reach the buzzer to alert anyone to his plight. This lady fed him at each mealtime and ensured that he was given enough to drink between whilst during her stay and arranged for some help after she left.
If one is an ex-pat living here without the support/back up of a large family and circle of friends, it can be very difficult to provide the necessary attention.
Spanish families expect to live in the room with their relatives, 24/7, and sleep there in a lounge chair or truckle bed. Someone will move in to do their 'spell' of care and then they will be relieved by someone else on a rota system.
When an English person is in hospital alone, the Spanish ask them where their family is, and why has nobody come to help them? Sometimes they will offer to assist the foreigners but they obviously don't understand why the patient has been 'abandoned' (as they see it), without any help.
Having said all this, the health care is excellent here and there are associations set up by mostly English speaking volunteers to give limited assistance but on the whole, it is a completely different system and quite difficult to adjust to.
The English seem to expect/demand that the nursing staff give them what they would expect in the UK, but quite rightly, the Spanish say, 'You're in our country now, so adjust. If you need care in hospital and you don't have anyone to provide it, you will have to pay for someone to provide it for you.'
So be warned - this could be the way things will be developing for the United Kingdom if this slippery slope is not knocked on the head, sooner rather than later!
Mrs Sally Realey
Campaigns & Issues
Independent Age’s comments on the Autumn Statement
Independent Age Chief Executive, Janet Morrison said:
Increase in State Pension Age
"Independent Age accepts the logic for an increase in the State Pension Age, but for it to work we need measures to allow older people to work more flexibly as they approach retirement age, for example, to work part-time or in different roles.
"We also need to remember that, as now, not all individuals will be healthy enough to work until retirement age so we will need to look carefully about how we support people who do need to retire earlier.”
Raising state pension age is a betrayal of future generations
Britain’s biggest pensioners’ organisation, the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) has described today’s announcement by the Chancellor, George Osborne, to raise the state pension age as a “betrayal of future generations” based on inaccurate assumptions about life expectancy.
Dot Gibson, NPC general secretary said: "Contrary to the Chancellor’s claims, the Office for National Statistics has revealed that life expectancy is actually falling.
Competitions & Fun
Win a copy of NOW! That's What I Call Movies
Take a walk down Hollywood boulevard with NOW That’s What I Call Movies, the latest offering from NOW That’s What I Call Music. This triple-CD compilation is packed with renowned hits from the biggest blockbuster films of all time.
Featuring the iconic Bryan Adams’ ‘(Everything I Do) I Do It For You’, taken from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, through to the Whitney Houston’s smash hit ‘I Will Always Love You’ taken from the 1992 film Bodyguard.
NOW That’s What I Call Movies –they are all here, this is a big one.
Win one of 31 fabulous travel treats from Silver Travel Advisor this December
Enter now and you could win one of the 31 travel treats from our Christmas Stocking.
Silver Travel Advisor is a friendly website packed with advice, tips, information and honest reviews written by and for silver travellers (aged over 50). A team of advisors are on hand to answer queries (for free), and you can share your own experiences too.
Health & Wellbeing
Coffee may reduce the rise of prostate cancer
Recent research has demonstrated that there is a significant inverse relationship with coffee consumption and the development of nonaggressive, aggressive and fatal prostate cancer.
The study is of significance because Prostate Cancer is the most common cancer in men with over 40,000 new cases diagnosed every year.
Property & Finance
Autumn Statement overlooks chronic shortage of retirement housing in UK
Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement today was a missed opportunity to address some of the biggest housing problems in Britain.
Whilst there were a couple of housing announcements – namely that people living overseas will have to pay Capital Gains Tax for future gains on second homes bought in the UK from April 2015 and the pledge of £1bn of loans to ‘unblock’ large housing developments, other big issues were overlooked.
The Chancellor has demonstrated he is keenly aware that Britain has an ageing population - by raising the retirement age because of increased life expectancy, yet he continues to ignore the need for specialist retirement housing, currently in chronic short supply.
Leisure and Lifestyle
Having a dog is great – for your social life
Having a dog is good for your social life, adding an average of three friends to your social circle, according to new research.
The findings emerged from a detailed study carried out among 1500 dog owners, which discovered sharing casual greetings, anecdotes and tips on canine care on the daily walk opens new doors socially.
For one in twenty dog owners their pooches have led them to befriend more than 10 people they would not have met had it not been for their four legged friends.
Driving home for Christmas
Chris Rea’s song 'Driving Home for Christmas' is a one that resonates with many of us at this time of the year.
While it’s the time to spend with family and friends, many of us will be embarking on a car journey home before we enjoy the festive cheer.
But before you make that journey home, it’s important to do a few checks to the car.
Again no paper to beat Mature Times from day one of first publication everything inside that we need - thanks to all!