Pilar Ibarlucea, calls off hunger strike at care home

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PILAR IBARLUCEA (94), on hunger strike after being obliged to share her care home room, has called off her protest.

On October 8, Pilar told her family and staff at the Olimpia care home in Bilbao that she would not go downstairs to the dining room with the other residents. Neither would she eat anything that was brought up on a tray.

The protest began the day after another woman was installed in her room.  This, said Pilar, was an invasion of her personal space.

“I feel as though I have been thrown out onto the street,” she complained.  “Everybody is trying to persuade me to eat, but I won’t unless they give us a bigger room.”

For five days Pilar took only liquids but enjoyed visits and backing from relations of the friends she had made in the Reina de la Paz residence where she lived until three years ago.

But last week, Pilar relented and began eating again to the relief of her family, accepting some puree and tortilla.

“Pilar is well,” insisted the 135-bed care home’s manager Iratxe Landeta, who said that the elderly woman had received regular medical attention throughout the time she refused to eat.

The decision to put another person in Pilar’s room had been dictated by health and care factors, she explained. The Olimpia centre was full and the management and could not comply with Pilar’s demands, Landeta said.

“This is not the home of just one person, but 135 people,” she explained.

 

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