The Regional Ministry of Equality, Social Policies and Reconciliation has created 108 new places in publicly owned centres in the province of Almeria, both for the care of the elderly and the disabled. This increase is in addition to the places already announced this year in privately owned residential care centres within the scope of the social agreement, bringing the increase this year in the province of Almeria to 178 new places in residential homes and day centres for the care of dependent persons. From the beginning of the legislature in 2019 until the present time, a total of 231 new places have been created in the province.
The territorial delegate for Equality, Rafael Pasamontes, has stressed that this effort to increase resources for the elderly and people with disabilities allows “to respond to the demand of local entities and meet the needs of the population in a situation of dependency”.
Specifically, as he has detailed, 83 new places in public residential care centres for the care of the elderly have been increased, of which 36 in Las Tres Villas, 38 in Garrucha and 9 in Bacares; and 25 more places in publicly owned day centres, 10 of which are for the elderly in Laujar de Andarax and 15 for people with disabilities in Níjar.
Social revolution with a new model of care
Thus, “this increase will make it possible to cover the needs of the elderly and people with disabilities,” insisted Pasamontes. And he explained that the places have been distributed according to the needs of each of the typologies that encompass these services and subject to the availability of places accredited for each typology in the different areas of social services.
“The attention to dependent people, with more policies and resources, is now at the centre of the Junta de Andalucía’s government action”, said the territorial delegate for social policies. “We have undertaken a real social revolution with the promotion of a new model of care for the elderly and people with disabilities, based on proximity and focused on the needs of these people”, he added, to emphasise that this model will also be one of the basic lines of action with the European funds of the Plan for Recovery, Transformation and Resilience.
In this regard, Pasamontes stressed that this new increase in the number of places in public centres is aimed at streamlining the dependency care system in the province, reducing waiting lists and increasing the number of beneficiaries.
At the end of September, 20,690 people were receiving care in the province of Almeria, which means 705 more people receiving care than at the end of December 2020 (an increase of 3.5%).
36% reduction in the waiting list.
Thus, the province has gone from having 6,197 people pending a PIA proposal in December 2018, to 3,961 as of 30 September 2021. This means that 2,236 fewer people are waiting to receive a benefit in Almeria, which means a 36% reduction in the waiting list.
“These results are the result of this government’s determination to reduce the waiting list for dependency and to place care for dependent people among its priorities, a commitment that has allowed us to reach historic highs in the community of people assisted, more than 244,000, thanks to the fact that we have allocated 1,741 million euros to dependency care,” he said. Pasamontes also emphasised that “this change in the model of care for the elderly and people with disabilities has been recognised by the National Observatory for Dependency, which has given Andalusia the best rating in the last five years”.
The regional delegate also praised the implementation of a shock plan with various measures to reduce application processing times and incorporate new dependent persons into the system.
Among these initiatives is the modification of the procedure with the aim of reducing bureaucracy and simplifying administrative procedures, as well as the incorporation of the Electronic Window for the telematic processing of applications, which is already in operation. In order to streamline procedures, the recruitment of technical and administrative staff has also been carried out, in addition to the aforementioned increase in the number of posts.
Furthermore, the Social Services and Dependency Agency of Andalusia (ASSDA) has already launched a pilot project of the new procedural model for the recognition of the situation of dependency and the right to the benefits of the System for Autonomy and Care for Dependency in Andalusia. This project will significantly reduce the waiting list for dependency and speed up its processing by unifying the phases of assessment of dependency status and the determination of the type of intervention or resource granted, by virtue of the principle of administrative simplification.