Teleassistance (‘teleasistencia’) or telecare are the common names for services where a person carries a pendant or bracelet with a button to call for help if needed and other varying monitoring systems in the home or street. The service aims to provide peace of mind and promote independent living.
Private teleassistance operators are common in Spain, however for people on pensions, low incomes or unable to afford expensive systems here are two operators available to EU nationals living in Spain from regional government and the Red Cross.
Junta de Andalucía regional government telecare
This major regional scheme in Andalucía provides access to a 24-hour helpline by pressing a button on a pendant worn on your neck. It does not just help with emergencies, but also provides easier access to advice on health services and sends out reminders of when to take medicines.
The service is available at very low cost (currently around 10 euros a month maximum) to anyone registered on a local town hall padrón (census roll), whatever their nationality, and who is in possession of an Andalusian pensioners’ card for the over 65s (Tarjeta Andalucía Junta sesentaycinco), which is easily applied for free of charge by British residents over 65. (This card also gives discounts on other services, including buses between towns, click here for details)
For a few more details of the Junta de Andalucía’s teleasistencia programme please click here (in English)
Applications for telecare can be made online or often with the assistance of the local town hall social services department. Click here to find your nearest local council. (You will see a list of local town halls for the main towns. Please enter where you live in the ‘Enter your town’ field to see your own).
If you have any question about Andalucía Telecare Service (or you wish to apply for it) or questions on any benefit of the Over 65s card (Tarjeta Andalucía Junta sesentaycinco) there is a free telephone number from the Junta de Andalucía regional government which can also take calls in English : (0034) 900200165.
Please note, that this telecare service is currently only offered in Spanish and is available only to residents of Andalucía (including Malaga and the Costa del Sol).
Worth knowing: As well as the small monthly fee for Teleassistance from the Junta de Andalucía, the same service is also normally offered free of charge as the most basic level of support as part of the national government’s social care services for dependency, (even for those under 65 who qualify), once an application is made by town-hall-based social workers, however this process can take some time. See the topic on Spanish benefits.
Spanish Red Cross teleassistance
The Spanish Red Cross (Cruz Roja) operate a teleassistance service that is open to anyone. While slightly more expensive than the Junta de Andalucía scheme, it also offers help in English at its call centre.
The Red Cross can also offer a GPS monitoring service to locate somebody with light to moderate memory loss while they are out in the street as well as general mobile phone teleassistance/telecare.
For more information contact the Red Cross: 900 100 333, see here (http://www.cruzroja.es/principal/web/teleasistencia) or contact your nearest Red Cross/Cruz Roja branch by searching details here