The construction and commissioning of two new private residences for the elderly will increase the places in Reus. One of them is already being built in the Mas Iglesias area, at 12-16 Carles Riba Street, managed by Orpea; and the second, which is related to the sale of land to support the viability of the Reus Ploms NPP, has not yet started work and corresponds to the company Aegide. Both expect to come into operation in 2023.
They are not the only ones that have been installed in the city in recent years: in 2019, Ballesol inaugurated its facilities on the site that had housed the Reus Palace Cinema and Horts de Miró – which is in concert – opened one of its floors.
Sources from Orpea consulted indicate to this newspaper that their building, which already shows an advanced aspect, is currently 45% complete and will reach the halfway point in a few days. As the Diari advanced, the newly created facility will have a total of 131 beds, initially private although open to the concert, and will also have a day center with a capacity yet to be specified. In addition to other services, the residence will include those of a specific unit for dealing with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
Orpea expects to generate around 80 jobs. Among the team of professionals who will provide services to users, there will be profiles of doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists or geriatricians.
The residence will allow pets as long as the user is willing to take care of them and will have outdoor and garden areas, a reminiscence room and a snoezelen room for individualized sensory stimulation. Most of the rooms will be individual and the tenant can decorate them to their liking. The equipment has also been designed with its own kitchen and menus adapted to particular needs will be prepared. It will offer therapies with animals and intergenerational activities, as well as physical, cognitive and emotional therapies focused on improving autonomy. The Orpea Group, which runs centers for the elderly in other parts of Catalonia, is also in charge, for example, of the López Ibor Clinic in Madrid.
Plot of 3,000 square meters
As for the second residence, the one that Aegide will build, company sources asked about it state that “since the works will not be finished until 2023”, they still do not have precise information regarding the number of beds and the characteristics of the facilities, data that they hope to be able to detail in a few months.
Through its website, the company is already announcing that “the Group will soon establish itself in Spain, in Reus, in the province of Tarragona and in Portugal, in Vilamoura, in the Algarve region, and in Villa Nova de Gaia, in the northern region” and that “to complete its European network, the Group also plans to develop in Germany, Luxembourg or Switzerland”. Aegide, of French origin, “wants to continue diversifying the localization strategy by supporting it with management contracts” and this summer it will debut in Asia.
The land that the CN Reus Ploms has sold is located between Tarragona Avenue and Marià Fortuny Avenue and covers 3,000 square metres. The president of the sports entity, Isidre Guinjoan, specifies that the pre-contract between the parties has already been signed but is cautious and recalls that this “contains a clause that encompasses everything” and is subject to the approval of the urban plan, which must pass by the Comissió d’Urbanisme of Tarragona in the coming weeks. The process will probably take place between the months of May and June. Those 3,000 meters, he details, “do not reach 10% of what the club has, around 38,000” and with the transaction, which has been set at 2.5 million euros, beyond balancing accounts, the CN Reus Ploms “will gain surface”.
The Ballesol residence, which opened in 2019 at number 28 Batan Street, has about 117 beds. The Horts de Miró hospital, which is part of the Reus IV Comprehensive Primary Care Center (CAPI), was completed in 2012 but did not open beds until seven years later, in January 2019, and did so at half its capacity –which is for a maximum of 58 users– and the rest are still pending development today.
More queue than before Covid-19
As of April 1, as indicated by sources from the Department of Social Rights, the waiting list to access a public residence place in the Baix Camp is 200 people. The same sources emphasize that, of the 200, up to 78 people have resigned on some occasion or more and that there are some who have done so 15 times. They also specify that “these 200 people are not neglected, since they can access other benefits derived from the Dependency Law or the Public System of Social Services.”
The queue would have increased slightly in the last year and has also increased compared to previous stages: in August 2021, there were some 176 elderly people waiting for a public place; and, in September 2018, they remained at about 160.
The Department details that in Reus there are 623 nursing home places that receive public funding, either because they are places in public centers or they are collaborating or concerted places. The figure does not include the beds that receive the support of the linked economic benefit (PEV), which are also financed with the public budget. The region has, according to the Drets Socials service search engine, about 25 residences promoted by private entities of commercial initiative for the elderly with dependency or social risk, twenty of public initiative and eight private of social initiative.
In the plenary session this April, the PSC presented a motion demanding that “the procedures be streamlined” to open the fourth floor of Horts de Miró and “offer places to people who cannot be at home and need permanent health care” . The proposal, defended by the councilor Ana Martínez, pointed out that “what Reus cannot afford is that the residence, which was inaugurated in 2019, is another year without working 100%”.
In his reply, the Councilor for Health, Òscar Subirats, expressed, on the question of Horts de Miró, that “the global planning of the number of places that must be increased each year at the level of Catalonia is being studied.” “To ask that after 20 days of having closed the Covid plant – part of the residence isolated the elderly during the pandemic – we have to open it… A series of works were carried out to adapt it as a sanitary plant that is being dismantled and, when are dismantled, the vacancies will have to be accredited again and registered in the Register of Social Entities. And it’s only been 20 days.”