15 Nov, 2023 @ 13:56
1 min read

Many Brits who retire to Spain ‘will end up alone and isolated’, experts warn: Embassy calls in experts to help better integrate UK-born residents

Elderly tourists ride a mobility scooter in an empty street in the English district of Levante in Benidorm, a seaside resort on the eastern coast of Spain, where the tourism industry has been hit hard by the latest 14-day quarantine requirement by the British government for all tourists that travel from Spain because of its high levels of COVID-19 cases. Picture date: Thursday July 30, 2020.

SOME 72,000 Brits who retire to Spain’s Costa del Sol risk becoming ‘alone and isolated’, the British Embassy has warned.

Diplomats have reportedly asked the Junta and university professors to come together to tackle expat loneliness. 

Yolanda Maria de la Fuente, professor of Social Work and Social Services,at Jaen University highlighted that many Brits move to Spain to retire with their partners. 

But if their significant other dies, they are often left isolated and lonely. 

Expats often move to Spain with their partners. Photo: Cordon Press

According to the academic, Mijas, with over 8,000 British residents, is ‘an example to follow’ to avoid such situations. 

The local council is ‘proactive’ in the face of expat issues and encourages them to participate in community life.

They have also established an English speaking 24-hour helpline which allows residents to overcome ‘bureaucratic barriers’. 

This is especially helpful, says the expert, for older expats, for whom using new technology to process documents and arrange appointments can be difficult, even in their native language. 

She has urged local councils to assess and understand their population of older and expat residents so they can take ‘proactive’ measures to avoid social isolation. 

In a statement given to The Olive Press, The British Embassy said: “The British Embassy works to protect and promote British interests in Spain. 

“As part of that, we provide support and advice to British people visiting or living in Spain, working with local authorities to ensure British people are able to access services available to them.”

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Yzabelle Bostyn

After spending much of her childhood in Andalucia and adulthood between Barcelona and Latin America, Yzabelle has settled in the Costa del Sol to put her NCTJ & Journalism Masters to good use. She is particularly interested in travel, vegan food and has been leading the Olive Press Nolotil campaign. Have a story? email yzabelle@theolivepress.es

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