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Life Stages: Old Age

The elderly enjoy their independence and are given great respect for their wisdom and experience. Traditionally, people over the age of 65 would live with a son or unmarried daughter, but strong pension plans now help the elderly to live more independently. Grandparents usually live in their own homes.

Grandparents do not hesitate to extend a helping hand to their offspring whenever needed. The relationship between grandchildren and grandparents is very important, and Spain has the highest proportion of women over 50 who take care of children in the European Union.

The average life expectancy is 83.49 years for women—the highest in Europe—and 80 years for men. According to a recent survey by the Spanish National Institute for Statistics, there are about 10,000 centenarians in Spain, most of whom are in good health.

Traditionally, the youngest child would stay on in the parents’ household to take care of them in case they got ill. These days, the entire family unites to care for elderly relatives in need. There are also public old age homes for the needy, and the concept of nursing care homes is gaining ground. Special retirement complexes are also available, but they cost serious money.