Attempts to de-familiarise care: the Spanish dependency law Articles uri icon

publication date

  • October 2015

start page

  • 338

end page

  • 345


  • 1


  • 6

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1942-4620


  • The socio-demographic changes that Spain has experienced in recent decades revealed the unsustainability of the traditional caregiving system based exclusively on the care provided by family members. In the new scenario, attending to situations of dependency started to be seen as a 'social problem' which required public intervention. The Spanish Dependency Law was the response to this demand. However, from among the measures of support available for dependents, cash-for-care to family members were given precedence, rather than the creation of public services to accomplish this purpose. Using the terminology on family care regimes, this article demonstrates that the imbalance which diminishes the role of public services in favour of financial support paid to relatives causes unwanted effects (perpetuation of the feminisation/re-familiarisation of care in this instance) and makes care for dependents more vulnerable, being contingent upon governments' short-term budget policy, as has occurred with austerity policies during the current crisis.


  • care; de-familiarisation; family care regimes; spanish dependency law; cash-for-care; social spending cuts; caregivers