On 4th June we hosted a talk in Almunecar by Aurora Moreno. She and her group of friends and acquaintances in Malaga have found an way to achieve their dream of having personal autonomy and planning for a dignified old age. There were eight people who started thinking about this when they were in their fifties. It took them eleven years to plan and build, but they have created Residencia Santa Clara, with 76 apartments. The residents have become a cooperative and are both the promoters and managers of the whole project. Some people say that it is more like a Hotel than a Residencial!
Residencial Santa Clara has all the facilities needed: swimming pool, chapel, hairdresser’s, a gym. There are also large rooms for activities as well as medical care for those who are ill. But the main thing about it, they say, is that it feels like home and every resident knows that all their needs are covered until the end of their lives. One of the great advantages of this way of living, they say, is that you do not need to face things alone, but you always have the option of privacy behind your own front door.
Aurora Moreno is rightly proud of their achievement, creating one of Spain’s first senior cooperative co-housing projects, where residents own a share of the community and have an equal voice in how it’s run.
They have now been living there for 15 years, and are keen to help other groups in planning their own future. At the meeting their treasurer who has been with the project since the beginning spoke about how they planned the finances so that they residents could afford to live there on their pensions. They knew that they could not afford the charges in privately run Residencias.
Their advice to the Una Vida Buena group? Aurora said that we need to think about tomorrow, and that we have an opportunity to plan well for our own future.