Good mobile phone coverage essential for new expat retirees in Spain

Good mobile phone coverage essential for new expat retirees in Spain

Good mobile phone coverage essential for new expat retirees in Spain

For elderly British citizens looking to spend their retirement years in Spain, choosing a district with good mobile phone coverage can ensure help is available when needed.

Spain has been and will continue to be a popular retirement destination for older British would-be expats. Established expatriate communities, friendly locals, a warm climate, adequate healthcare and the refreshingly low cost of housing and living are all attractions it’s hard to beat elsewhere in Europe. However, in this tech age, reliable internet and especially mobile phone coverage is essential for those in less than robust health. Even an accident at home can have serious consequences if immediate help isn’t able to be summoned.

One group of retired British expats living along the Spanish Costa Almeria in the town of Limaria are very aware of this issue, as their lack of reliable mobile phone coverage is causing major concerns in the community. The area’s 200 permanent residents are worried their lack of communication might prove life-threatening and are quoting one incident which indicated te real need of an upgrade to the service. An elderly resident had been taking his regular walk when he fell and was unable to get up, with a passer-by noting his plight some 45 minutes later.

The helpful man attempted to reach the local emergency services helpline on 121, but was unable to connect. Soon after, the elderly man’s wife arrived, having been concerned as her husband hadn’t returned, and managed to get him to the nearest medical centre. Fully aware of this potential danger to their elderly expat members, the community sent a petition to the local council asking them to address the problem before it was too late, but no response was forthcoming. More recently, a recorded delivery letter was sent, but no response was again the result.

Finally, a group of 30 residents met with the local mayor in order to attempt to find a solution. The mayor has now replied to expats’ concerns in a letter which acknowledged the problem and agreed it’s also a serious issue for ambulances with geolocators for finding addresses, as tragic situations could result. However, it seems promises aren’t actions, with one resident British expat telling local media the mayor’s reply is being considered by the community as ‘vague’, and no immediate action has been taken. Sadly, it would seem a fatality is what’s needed to get local officials to understand the threat to their expat community.

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