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British Pensioners in Malta/Gozo

Living in Malta for older people

Many of our members are pensioners, so here's a place to discuss the relevant issues.

Living in Malta for older people

Postby Vandp » Sun 22 Apr 2012 19:06 GMT

Hi everyone
First time visiting this website today, excellent source of info.
These q's are for the retired expats if you don't mind a newbie possibly asking questions that have been covered before - forgive me, there is so much on here I have probably missed some.
Husband and I (Irish and Italian citizens respectively) are thinking of moving to Malta from Ireland. My elderly father (Italian) lives with us and although he is in ok health he does have chronic health problems and is finding mobility a little bit difficult as time goes on.
Here in Ireland he is entitled to free healthcare and free public transport which I can see he can have those there too if I am reading correctly, which is great as his pension is tiny and our salaries will go on living expenses!
I would like to know what is it like to live in Malta as an older person? Is it easy to get around (he doesn't drive), easy to be independent but safely so? Did most of you find it an easy transition, did you meet people even though you were not working? He speaks Italian and English so language will not be a problem as far as I can see, correct me if I am wrong.
Thanks very much.
Veronica
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Vandp
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Postby gozomark » Sun 22 Apr 2012 19:56 GMT

Hi Veronica, and welcome to the forum :-)

Italian and English is a great language combination for Gozo and Malta

"would like to know what is it like to live in Malta as an older person? Is it easy to get around (he doesn't drive), easy to be independent but safely so? " - generally yes, its safe, and fairly easy to get around (its a small place after all)
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Postby SandT » Fri 1 Jun 2012 16:35 GMT

Have only just spotted this post. It might be prudent to mention that Malta is a hilly island and many towns, although nice and safe and interesting, would be difficult to negotiate for someone with walking difficulties. We live in Mellieha and love it here (we are retired but fortunately very active and mobile) but have seen people having to struggle to get out of their wheelchairs and have someone else negotiate getting it off and back onto pavements. Many pavements are uneven and/or very narrow and good, sensible disabled access is rare rather than the rule I have to sadly report. My husband had to assist an elderly gentleman in Valletta who was walking with the aid of a walking frame and arrived at an impasse. He was quite stuck as he couldn't get down the curb to the road as it was too steep yet couldn't continue on the path either as it had suddenly developed into several steep and narrows steps into a basement!

Not everywhere is like this but many are and being sensible, you need to come and have a good look around the area where you might live and see if it would work for you and your elderly father.

The buses are greatly improved and modern but very crowded in the summer months with people often having to stand and you may need to "stare out" someone sitting in the seats supposedly reserved for disabled folk before they may move. (this was the experience of a friend of ours).

This sounds very disheartening but I am trying to give you the worst scenario so that you are aware of how it can be. On the whole, Malta is a great place to live and we have settled in well and made some very nice friends. There is very little crime in most areas and what there is, is mainly fairly minor stuff.

We enjoy our life here though most folk find it slightly difficult in a strange place to begin with. We do not regret moving to Malta at all. You can join various societies or classes to meet people and help out at animal sanctuaries too, as we did/do.

Good luck in whatever you decide.

Sheelagh
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