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A new Concept of Senior Residence in Spain
26 June 2014 @ 09:54

      Since a long time ago, I thought that I did not like the known Residences in Spain. I thought that they seemed “a place to park our elders” and I felt pity.

      Yesterday I took a joy, when I saw on television, a news saying that a year ago, a group of seniors  --and friends among them--  live in some apartments complex, but private apartments with common areas. And, there, they are very happy. This complex have been created by themselves, with their savings, forming a Cooperative called TRABENSOL. It is the first time a project is done, like this, in Spain, and I have found it great.

      If you want to know more about it, please click here below to watch a video:

Marta Cáceres:   “Have you ever thought about how and where you would like to spend the last stage of your life?. Well, today we have noticed that, if you could build that place, what structure would it have, what kind of amenities. That is what has made a group of over 100 people, who set out not to be a burden to anyone and enjoy a full stage of activity. They formed a Cooperative and, what they looked like a dream, it is a reality. Do you want to know how is this little paradise?, Go ahead, see”.

Raúl de Andrés (Voice in off):  “A garden, in which to plant tomatoes without bending, even from a wheelchair; greenhouse, library, video library and workshop activities ....; therapeutic bath, hairdresser and massage parlor ...; common facilities, not to have to cook or wash clothes and, in turn, own apartment, for a total independence .... Welcome to the Social Center Coexistence, Assistance and Senior Services TRABENSOL”.

Felisa Láiz (a member of the Cooperative of Trabensol): “We intend to have all the necessary spaces for an active life;  ie, that aging will coming, but it is as successful as possible, we can be the happiest possible; not only do not make war on the children or the own society, but, in addition, we feel satisfied and reconciled, a little, with this stage of life so difficult, that is old age”

Raúl de Andrés: “Are already a few weeks, to inaugurate this Center, located in the town of Torremocha del Jarama, about 60 kilometers from Madrid ..... It is a dream come true, of a group of workers, united by a common cause”

Antonio Zugasti (Founder of Trabensol): “We believe that problems are best solved by cooperating than competing .....; cooperation, the joint is what allows us to address problems, that we could not solve individually ... and we apply that to the solution of this problem, in our last stage of life”.

Raúl de Andres: “The Cooperative is called TRABENSOL -- acronym for workers in solidarity (TRABAJADORESENSOLIDARIDAD =  WORKERS IN SOLIDARITY). Collect one heretogeneous group of people with a shared illusion”

Alvaro Moreno (Team Block Architects): “The most interesting for us, as a study, was to transform the dream of a client, a group of people on a project Architecture ..; transform a vital program in functional programs, spaces, light, communications, relationships; I mean, encourage Architecture, basically, fulfill its expectations, with expectations of a new way of living together their old age”

Raúl de Andrés: “The building is designed in a series of privacy gradations: from the outer square --open to all the residents of the village-- to the apartments”.

Alvaro Moreno: “The whole building is about .. following some grades: from the most public, which would be the entrance square, the dining-lounge area, the lobby area, and ,slowly, transitions are becoming to what is around this courtyard --which is a gallery of route, which is not just a site, a site that connects with another one, but a place where they can stand on a  stool to read, find someone else”

Raúl de Andrés: “The Centre has 54 apartments for 2 people. All are equal: about 50 square meters plus a storeroom. Everyone ... has cost 142,000 Euros”

Luis San Segundo ( a member of the Cooperative Trabensol): “All have the same orientation: south - north, so that there is no difference. Are 50 square meters and have a crusade ventilation, hidden, but the air is constantly renewing itself. We have..., as you see, a terrace, its door is designed so that you can get out with a wheelchair, and a bedroom, which has an indoor sliding door, just to take up no space and we can have, in this small space, all enough to place furnitures. a bedroom enough for 2 beds or a large. A wardrobe, which has been thought, look, that is all wide, has 3 doors thought precisely to low weight and can be manipulated by anyone, from a wheelchair. We have 2 outlets in the room, just so there are no crossings among the two people. We have, as you see, a kitchen, in what is a very complete, fully equipped and ... a therapeutic bath, fully adapted, fastener, chairs .. and mobility aids, flat with people who are disabled with chairs”

Raúl de Andres: “The building is facing south, to optimize its energy efficiency and a Geothermal system provides heat exchange with the ground, for air conditioning”

Alvaro Moreno: “When very hot outside in the summer, the earth is fresh; Geothermal pumps throw the heat inside the earth and the earth absorbs the heat. Winter is upside down: outside it is so cold and the earth is warm; then, what we will do is with the pumps, that extract heat from the ground and threw it into the building”


Antonio Zugasti: “How is it that you signed, Jaime?”

Jaime Moreno (a member of the Cooperative Trabensol): “Well ... really, as we all know, are people of projects: we have had projects, when we were young, and this project is for us ..... continue doing, thinking ahead .... Although we are older, memories do not live, we live for future projects. And then, continue doing these things we are doing too, as is the Book Forum, such as Read Count Theater, as re making a video Forum and comment the films.......”

A lady: “A work of Theatre….”

Jaime: “We keep changing society ... at least aspire to it, but make a more human society, a more solidarity one, with more participation ...”

Another lady: “And I think we are going to integrate well in the village”

Raúl de Andrés: “Hopefully now they have many healthy years to enjoy it, what with much effort, they have built”

Marta Cáceres: “Well, you see, every day, there are more sectors of society, who care and are committed to new residential models Elder”

      Well, in this video, you have failed to learn an important detail; but I know it, because I have seen it in another video, about Trabensol. This detail is that Trabensol members could buy the land to build the apartments --land that was undeveloped-- because the apartments would be for a social work and not for sale to other people outside the Cooperative.

      This is the first time that a proyect like this one is created in Spain, but I hope it is not the last one.

      I hope that youy have liked the project, such as I did.

      Till soon, kind regards,


Sponsored by Costaluz Lawyers.

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annabellc said:
28 June 2014 @ 08:39

This is amazing. We should build them in the UK too rather than pay a fortune for a care home, only to end up badly treated!

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