Long-term care in Spain: Difficulties in professionalizing services

Sara Moreno-Colom, Carolina Recio Càceres, Teresa Torns Martín, Vicent Borràs Català

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this article is to analyze the difficulties in professionalizing the long-term care system in Spain. Since 2006, the new Spanish law has recognized care as a subjective right, and regulations are being designed to create a framework for its professionalization. Nowadays, family remains the most important group of providers who care for their elders, and women remain the main informal caregivers. Why do families resist using public long-term care services and professional carers included in the new law? The hypothesis highlights sociocultural factors as an obstacle to professionalization of long-term care services in addition to political and economic factors. The results show qualitative data about expectations, preferences, and discourses that women caregivers have in relation to their responsibility. The empirical material includes 25 interviews with different profiles of caregivers and six focus groups with family caregivers. The article suggests that the Spanish ideal of care is a problem for the professionalization of services because the family remains as the main provider of care—without specific skills, knowledge, and abilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-215
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Women and Aging
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2017


  • Aging
  • family
  • gender
  • home care
  • ideal care
  • residential care
  • social care


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