Print version ISSN 0213-9111
ANDRES-PIZARRO, Josep de. Inequalities in protection services for elderly dependent individuals. Gac Sanit [online]. 2004, vol.18, suppl.1, pp. 126-131. ISSN 0213-9111. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0213-91112004000700020.
This article analyses social welfare attention for dependence in Spain, especially with respect to old people and social services, with emphasis on social inequality. Disability affects 32.2% of older people (women 35.9%), which rises to 50% for people over 80. Faced with this growing problem, the welfare system continues to provide a timid response, which is expressed in public spending on this field that is much lower than that of the countries around us, which leads to insufficient development of long-term social and health care services (particularly non-residential services) and gives rise to situations of vulnerability and inequality for the majority of dependent persons and for those in charge of caring for them. The separation of health care and social systems and the diversity arising from our model of autonomous communities makes for profound differences with respect to rights of access, entrances, services offered, costs and sources of financing and the preparation of the professionals working in these fields. Consolidating welfare attention for dependence as a subjective, universal and guaranteed right is fundamental if we are to advance in the direction of a reduction of the kinds of inequality cited above and to avoid perpetuating a model of family health care which is based on gender discrimination.
Keywords : Older people; Disability; Dependence; Long-term care; Social and health services; Social inequality; Gender discrimination.