Episode five: A lived experience of retiring to Spain by Charles Betty

Most British nationals who retire abroad to destinations like Spain, maintain strong physical, emotional and social ties to the UK. Family living in the UK often play an instrumental role in the provision of care and support for elderly British nationals in Spain, especially when they struggle to access local social services due to language and cultural barriers. Research undertaken through the Sustainable Care programme has explored the lived experiences of accessing care and support in Spain and found that some retirees choose to return to the UK when they develop care needs, to be close to their families and to access support from the welfare state. Uncertainty created by Brexit has also led some people to worry about their futures in Spain and so are contemplating returning to the UK.

In this episode, we speak to Dr Charles Betty about his research on the older British community in Spain, which focuses on return migration. Charles, who completed his PhD in 2017, is now 97 years old and has lived in Spain for the last 35 years. Charles talks about his research on return migration but also reflects on his own experiences of living in Spain, including how he and the British community more broadly have responded to Brexit. He also talks about the important role of British voluntary organisations in the Costa del Sol, including Age Care Association and hospital volunteer interpreter services, both of which he helped to establish many decades ago.

Dr Kelly Hall is part of the team researching Care ‘In’ and ‘Out of’ place as part of the Sustainable Care research programme. Kelly featured on our very first CARE MATTERS episode, in which she discussed her Policy and Practice Brief, ‘Care for older British migrants in Spain’.

You can listen to that episode and more here.

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Click the images below to find out more about Kelly and her research.

Care ‘In’ and ‘Out of’ Place

Towards sustainability and wellbeing in mobile and diverse contexts

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