Only 26 percent of most needy dependents are in care homes

Government plans changes to simplify how dependency is measured

Two-thirds of those dependents who are most in need of help are cared for at home and, in the vast majority of cases, by relatives when many need specialized care. Only 26 percent of the most needy dependents - such as those suffering from advanced-stage Alzheimer's or bedridden senior citizens with very limited mobility - are cared for in residence homes where they would receive round-the-clock professional help.

These are the first official findings on the subject, to which EL PAÍS has had access, that the government plans to examine ahead of introducing measures to ease the bureaucracy that burdens dependency services. The report also concludes that the two levels of seriousness into which those who are most dependent are divided receive more or less the same help.

The minister for health and social services, Ana Mato, is keen to simplify procedures and since the Popular Party government entered power it has been predicted that the two levels into which each of the three degrees of dependence are divided (great, severe and moderate) will be eliminated. While this may help gain vital time in getting help for those in need, critics argue that those currently classed in the lowest level of the lowest degree (level one moderates) may drop out altogether and receive no help.

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