Pensioners Centre Montesinos

In every area life the residents of Orihuela Costa are discriminated against and have either no or inferior services to those of the inhabitants of Orihuela City. One can not help but to compare the council services provided by small independent municipalities, towns with populations well under 10,000 people to the inadequate provisions offered to coastal residents with its population of 33,227.

Older people living in Orihuela Costa have virtually no council provided services. There is no residential accommodation and no day care centre, nor is there a social centre for older residents. However when you visit San Miguel there is a large, purpose built social centre for people of the third age which houses a variety of activities. Likewise in Los Montesinos there is a large centre for older people next to the new town hall. Both of these centres are well used.

Orihuela Costa has a large community of retired and ageing people from all nationalities. Many individuals have chosen to retire to this part of Spain and contribute significantly to the local economy. When individuals purchase property they very rarely look at what services will be available to them when they became frail and dependent. Most people plan for an active retirement and give very little thought to issues of dependency. However for aged coastal residents, many who have lived here for considerable time, when their needs change they find that there are no provisions for them.

The expat community has been very active in providing services for older people in order to bridge this deficit, providing much needed assistance and support. However, in spite of the excellent work undertaken by these organisations as a person’s needs increase and greater support is required there are no provisions on Orihuela Costa to assist these people. Some people resolve this by returning to the country of origin, but others want the services provided in the area that they have lived in and contributed economically towards for years.

There is a large, purpose built, residential home situated behind the Villa Martin Golf Course that has stood empty for several years. There are no plans to open this facility, in spite of the needs of the elderly dependent population. This is a disgraceful waste of a valuable resource. Whilst this building stands empty and unused there are many very vulnerable people who are forced to either up roots and leave the area or manage in misery as their health and skills disintegrate.

How is it possible that very small municipalities can provide centres for the “third” age and cater for their ageing population more effectively than an area with a population of 33,227? Is this another example of Orihuela City discriminating against the Costa residents? Without an adequate number of councillors representing the Orihuela Costa the coastal resident will be never have adequate services.

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