The number of people living on their own in Spain has been steadily rising since the 90s. According to the last report published by the Spanish Statistics Institute, currently there is a total of 4.4 million people who live alone, and nearly half of them are elderly.
Among these elderly people, one of the major uncoerced causes of this situation is their attachment to their homes. According to the Professor of Sociology of the University of Granada, Juan López Doblas, “this highly affective value that the elderly associate to the home they live in is based on the life experiences they have had there, crammed with memories they do not want to leave behind. This is why living in that space would represent fulfilling their primary wish, even if it means living with nobody by their side.” Manuel has been living alone ever since his brother died nine years ago.
In addition, at that time, the building where they had always lived in was being renovated. Since then Manuel has been living in different flats -all Council flats situated in the quarter of Lavapiés (Madrid). There, amid the stacked cardboard boxes, old pieces of furniture and unpacked paintings, altars replete with memories stand towering in splendour like the very first day.
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