My husband and I just love all of the info we get from you! We are in the investigation phase of our plan to live abroad and one of the things we haven’t been able to get any info on is Continuing Care in other countries, especially Latin America. We’re all going to reach a point in our lives where we won’t be able to live independently anymore and what happens at that point?
If we have chosen to move to another country, get involved in the community and make new friends we probably won’t want to come back to the US, plus the cost of care here is already astronomical. Who knows what it will be in another 10+ years. What plans have you and Billy made for such a time? We don’t have any kids to take care of us at that time, but I would imagine that there are folks with kids who still would not want to come back to the US to live.
Thanks for all you do!
Thank you for writing to express such kind comments about our work here on Retire Early Lifestyle. We very much appreciate it!
Your question about Continuing Care in other countries is an excellent one. Especially as we Boomers age, the receiving of live-in care or having assisted living facilities available would simply be the next phase of our age group receiving medical attention.
What we can tell you from our observation and experience is that the countries which are supplying Medical Tourism on one level or another as a business enterprise, are very aware that we are a large consumer group. It is in their best interest to prepare for a wave of Americans who will need this next level of care.
We know that there are some enterprising Expats who are renovating houses and providing for convalescent nursing home services (I believe there is one located in Ajijic, in the Lake Chapala area). Some of these specialize in stroke victims or Alzheimer’s patients. There are local services in larger towns and cities (Ensenada, Puerto Vallarta, Rosarita, Puerto Escondido, Guadalajara, all located in Mexico or Antigua or Guatemala City in Guatemala) which can envision this business opportunity and are organizing in-home nursing assistance where you pay by the hour.
Towns and cities where there are larger groups of Expats would be the places to look for these up and coming needed services. Our aging is the next swell of business opportunity, and medical professionals will want to capitalize on this. And I would certainly look into the already-organized volunteer groups in any community to find out the latest news and projects. They will know what’s going on – if anything – on this topic.
On a smaller, more personal level, one could live almost anywhere in Latin America and – after becoming involved in the community somewhat – you could hire a local to take care of things like housekeeping, shopping and cooking. This would be more affordable than you would now imagine with nothing comparable available in the States. I would contact the hospitals and clinics in any area where you are living and arrange with them for nursing care. They would know of nurses available for hire or perhaps put you in touch with someone who could facilitate this. Don’t forget, there are still doctors in Latin America who make house calls and actually have your best health interests in mind. These medical professionals will arrange for what you need, and this is something for which Billy and I can personally vouch.
I would say in general that this is probably still a fairly fluid situation at the moment but not a vast desert with no answers in sight.
Still, for most people, the language barrier, cultural variations and the differences in food will be a daunting challenge. And it seems as people age, they become less flexible of mind and that in itself poses a problem.
The solutions for this next stage will come about, I have no doubt. I don’t believe that they are fully in place now, and there might be some bumpy roads to traverse in the meanwhile. But if you think about it, there are thousands of resourceful people who all want this to happen, and so it will. It will be a partnership with those of us who require this assistance and those who are able to provide it.
I hope you find my response to be useful and please feel free to write any time. In your travels, if you find any viable information yourselves, we would love to pass it on to our readers.
Wishing you all the best,
Akaisha and Billy
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