There are no signs to let visitors know, but the Seniors home for the elderly in Benalmádena activated its protocol for scabies on 15 July and it is still in force. The local health district was also obliged to officially announce an outbreak of the condition, which is extremely contagious and uncomfortable, when six people were affected. Some relatives of residents in the home claim that more than 20 are suffering from the condition, and they say "unhygienic conditions" are to blame. Now the regional government has said it will carry out detailed inspections.
The management of the Seniors Group-owned home, which has more than 100 residents, say they informed families as soon as the first case of scabies occurred, but relatives we talked to said they had "waited two months before doing anything" and that at first they had treated it as a fungal infection. Some of the elderly residents affected by scabies have had to be admitted to hospital.
Angry relatives say the condition was misdiagnosed, and that the health of family members has deteriorated since moving into the home. One unnamed woman says things have improved somewhat since the scabies outbreak was confirmed. "Some days, we had to cover our noses when we came to visit my mother, because the place smelled so awful. It is a bit better now, but there are still problems about hygiene and care for the residents," she says.
The director of the home insists that the situation is under control and that it was not hygiene-related.