Housing aid forgets our elders

Las ayudas a la vivienda se olvidan de nuestros mayores - Sociedad, Investigación

People over 65 are more vulnerable to access to housing. Despite the fact that 96.4% of people who access retirement decide to stay in their home, it is not a vulnerable public.

According to data from the study 'Grow old at home. Better in the town or in the city? Published by the Social Observatory of 'la Caixa', the remaining 3.6% live in residences or other institutions. The problem of these people who in many cases live only in a place without reform, and that has the same effect of "aging their residence".

These are data from the study conducted by Irene Lebrusán, PhD in Sociology from the Complutense University of Madrid and Professor at the Carlos III University of Madrid. Older people who reside in medium-sized cities have the largest share of residential property in Spain.

Differences between age in a town or in a macrocity

In this study, Irene Lebrusán, analyzes "the differences between aging in a small town or in a macrocity", for the purposes of housing quality. "The usefulness of residential life has increased in the accumulation of problems in a home, which will improve the quality of life of those who reside in it", explained the author. The postal code also affects the quality of life and how to reach retirement age.

Lebrusán stresses that "housing programs for the elderly have not existed to date". Neither the Housing Plan announced by the former PP minister, Iñigo de la Serna, nor the one recently drawn up in Congress by the current Minister of Public Works, José Luis Ábalos, has included a measure for the elderly group. "Most of the public policies have been concentrated on young people and their access to housing, but there are a number of people who have not been able to fix serious problems in their own homes for a long time," says the sociologist.

There are people who, upon reaching retirement, receive pensions of misery, added to the current bubble of the rental market and the tourist flats, expelling the elderly from the neighborhoods, in many cases they manage to relocate to another area outside their life active, which is related to their cognitive development and the possibility of developing diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.

The loneliness of our elders is also worrisome, not only because of the housing problems, nor because of the social problems that this entails. Loneliness affects the state of the home, and its deterioration.

The author focuses on the need. As indicated in the report, 96.4% of the elderly decide to stay in their homes during old age, compared to 3.6% who live in residences or other institutions. The available evidence, remember, the sample that has been given in the future, the quality has been improved and the elderly are not exposed to situations of vulnerability. it expels to turn it into a tourist house and into the misplacement of its sensory places.

The report indicates that 20.1% of people over 65 years of age in Spain (1,596,675 people) live in homes that are located in residential areas, between 10,000 and 100,000 inhabitants, and can reach 23.5% of the population. total of the greater population in the municipalities of between 20,000 and 50,000 inhabitants.

Those over 65

"Many of the aids have gone to the property market. It gives the feeling that when you acquire a home. This is what happens with older people, but the reality is different, "says Lebrusán. At present, the percentage reaches 13.3% at present.

In his opinion, there are other countries more advanced than the Spanish model; "In our country, what can be done?" The Nordic countries are more advanced in this area. In our case we are very at a European level, adds the experience.

The relationship between the problem of housing and the health of its owners seems direct "in this study, we establish the clear relationship between the health status of the owner and the home. We not only speak of depressions and other psychological problems more or less serious, but of other diseases such as pneumonia or similar due to the poor state of the home. " The higher quality of life influences that the existence of these people lengthens more over time. "We are talking about homes that have aged with few reforms, that means that many of them need a significant rehabilitation", explains Lebrusán.

The most frequent problems:

  • Accessibility (5,289,113 people affected)
  • The lack of heating or appliances to heat your home (3,355,129)
  • Building with more than three floors without an elevator (1,740,376)
  • Overcrowding (959,936).
  • Lack of access to running water, which affects 431,818 elderly people. It is considered a serious problem since water is a necessary good, essential to obtain the habitability certificate of the home and, in addition, almost the entire Spanish population has it, which indicates its relative importance in society.

Extreme residential vulnerability arises from the accumulation of problems in a home, which is reducing the quality of life of those residing in it.

Lebrusán points out that "any measure taken must be in the form of a shock plan, because the time goes against the quality of the homes of this group of older people. We must first make a diagnosis of the situation and detect where these homes are that go unnoticed by different administrations. It is not known which people suffer this situation. "

The author of the report believes that "the functioning of Social Services should take into account the situation of these people and simplify their protocols of action" because "many of them do not know the Internet or know how to manage telematically. The communication problem is important. If they do not have relatives to help them, they will not be able to access these aids. In other cases, some of these people find it difficult to recognize that they now need to ask for help to move their house forward, and they are not always able to make their personal situation, "he says.

Extreme vulnerability

Extreme residential vulnerability arises from the accumulation of problems in a home, which is diminishing the quality of life of those residing in it. Large cities "have benefited from control measures and public resources to fight against substandard housing," says the expert. While the smaller rural municipalities "use a greater range of solidarity forms of access to housing and a saving in land prices that results in a better quality of construction."

However, for Lebrusán, measures such as cohousing, "collaborative homes to live old age differently," "although it is an interesting measure, I am more in favor of cohousing between generations which would help to get more out of it". "Ladies and gentlemen with more than 80 years old would be left out, many of them are so attached to their neighborhood that they would not leave it. Cohousing in the long run may be a solution, but in the short and medium term in situations of extreme vulnerability it does not seem to help solve this type of problem, "says the author of the report.

Reverse mortgage

I stop the unions, and especially for UGT, the reverse mortgage is a harmful solution for our elders. It is promoted by the same actors who want to privatize the public pension system.

For Lebrusán the reverse mortgage is not a clear solution for this group. "In addition, having a house in poor condition does not always arouse the interest of the bank," he said.

For this expert many of the existing empty houses in our country could become social for this group, "the problem is also its location. They are not always where they are really needed. "

Source: Diario16