A FEW years back a friend of a friend contacted me to ask if I could help translate for her friend who was in the Costa del Sol Hospital.
Of course I said yes although I know that this service does exist for those who do not speak Spanish.
However, to arrange this service isn’t as simple as it could be, particularly when you are in the midst of pain, physical or emotional. Simple things become challenges seemingly impossible to overcome.
I saw how this lady watched her friend for many years disappear before her very eyes and it nearly killed her too. As he had no family or other friends she was the only one who could visit him, sit with him, feed him and then try to settle his affairs after his passing. Now she too needs help as her health suffered so much during the process. Neither of them had anyone else to turn to, both so very vulnerable and alone.
I am empathetic by nature but in this particular instance I could truly relate. I myself cannot even vote in my own country as I’ve lived in Spain for over 15 years and even though I am blessed to have a beautiful family, they have their own lives to live and being so international, who knows where they will eventually reside with their own families?
Whilst we’re fit and healthy it’s hard to imagine what it could be like to be old, alone and perhaps infirm in a foreign land.
Thankfully others have.
Age Concern España, is a fully registered non-profit Spanish organisation set up in 1994 to help ageing expats. Unfortunately too late for the lady who lost her life-long companion, but thanks to Tom Burns and ‘the team’ we now have an Age Concern Marbella in the making and we now have people ready and willing to help.
However if no one knows this service exists it’s of little use. We as a community need to let people know that loving and caring people are ready to hep them and have volunteers to cover our 27km coastline.
Age Concern aims to support Marbella for home and residential visits, information on nursing care and residential homes, help with daily living difficulties such as shopping or driving to a medical appointment, translating for someone, even help with repatriation, but above all, providing personal and moral support.
If any of you feel identified with this please call as Age Concern Marbella doesn’t want you to be alone or suffer in silence; let them know how their volunteers can help you. Volunteers, please call the same number.
The helpline number is 689 355 198.