American Seniors Look Abroad for Cheaper Memory Care Housing

Among those requiring care for memory-related issues, some are seeking options, far, far from home: in other countries. Some Europeans are finding the care in countries like Thailand is more personal, and much less expensive, according to an Associated Press report published by ABC News. 

The AP follows one Swiss family through the process of choosing a care provider in Thailand at a cost that’s about a third of what they would pay in Switzerland, despite the long distance of more than 5,000 miles from “home.”

“Spouses and relatives in Western nations are increasingly confronting [the] dilemma as the number of Alzheimer’s patients and costs rise, and the supply of qualified nurses and facilities struggles to keep up,” the AP writes. “Faraway countries are offering cheaper, and to some minds better, care for those suffering from the irreversible loss of memory.”

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Americans are looking to the Philippines for less costly options than offered by their U.S. counterparts, charging between $1,500 and $3,500 a month, compared with nearly $7,000 on average monthly for stateside nursing care, the AP reports. 

One such community is being launched in 2014, with additional efforts planned in Thailand in the coming year. 

“Facilities in Thailand also are preparing to attract more Alzheimer’s sufferers,” the AP writes. “…Also on the way is a small Alzheimer’s unit within a retirement community set on the grounds of a former four-star resort. With Thailand seeking to strengthen its already leading position as a medical tourism and retirement destination, similar projects are likely.”

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Read the AP report

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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