THE number of elderly Spaniards seeking at-home care support has soared after nursing homes turned into coronavirus hotspots during the first wave of the pandemic.

The client base of Spanish at-home care provider Cuideo, for example, has leapt from 9,000 in 2019 to 25,000 this year, and its workforce has nearly doubled.

Many of these homecare companies are receiving requests for carers who will live in the elderly or disabled person’s home. David Gonzalez, CEO of Spanish homecare group Depencare, told Reuters that seven of the 10 requests which Depencare receives are for live-in carers.

There is good reason to fear contagion in nursing homes. According to government data consulted by El Pais, 20,268 elderly or disabled people died from COVID-19 at social services facilities between early March and June 23.

Similarly, Amnesty International recently reported that thousands of elderly people had passed away in Spanish care homes because of the ‘inefficiency’ of the authorities.

Following three months of investigation, the non-governmental organisation found that there had been violations of ‘the human rights of the elderly people who were and still are living in residences.’

Specifically, it listed five rights that had been violated: the right to health; to life; to non-discrimination; to a private life; and to a dignified death.

Reasons for these violations included a lack of personnel and insufficient medical and sanitary resources.

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