The lack of care for the elderly and the high cost of old people's homes have prompted four Menorcans to come up with a solution: a sheltered housing project run on a co-operative basis.
Three possible locations in Maó are currently being studied by the group as a site for the complex:La Punta des Rellotge, the old Military Hospital and the area around the Santiago barracks.
Sufficient land is needed for 10,000 sq.m. of construction which would include 120 flats, each between 45 sq.m. and 55 sq.m., a communal dining room, lounge, laundry, an area for medical treatment and a Registered Nurse and a gymnasium, plus a swimming pool or gardens.
The idea being promoted by Francisco Parpal, Jordi Sintes, Ramón Sintes and Rosendo Vico is to form a co-operative of one hundred members, each of whom would invest 150,000 euros in the project which would provide sheltered accommodation for the elderly, allowing them their independence and privacy but giving them access to communal services. The monthly cost for basic services would be 200 euros for co-operative members and around 900 euros for dependents. This compares with a monthly charge of around 2,000 euros for the same services in an old people's home.
Although another Council has invited the group to develop the project in its district, the promoters are determined to set up the complex close to Maó, allowing easy access to the town for the elderly residents.
The project, the first of its kind on the island, has received the backing of the local and island Councils and is already arousing interest among the general public. The co-operative will be formed at the same time as the purchase of the site and will initially need a minimum of 80 members to ensure that the project, which the promoters estimate will take two years to complete, can progress.
Membership of the co-operative is limited to people over the age of 55 who are not dependent and who can pay the 150,000 euros required. Further information can be obtained by email at email@example.com.