How Mexico is Luring American Assisted Living Residents

Some older Americans are opting to move to Mexico rather than to assisted living in the United States.

Why? Care is dramatically cheaper south of the border, according to 93-year-old Peter Fowler, a resident at the Serena Senior Care assisted living community in Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico.

Fowler had trouble paying for assisted living back in the United States, he told NPR.


“I was running out of money before I ran out of month,” Fowler said. “Here, the cost of living is so good, I now run out of month before I run out of money.”

At Serena Senior Care, residents pay about $1,500 per month for full-time care; in California, full-time care costs an average of $5,000 per month, NPR reported. 

That may explain why about half of the residents at Serena Senior Care are from the United States, as opposed to Mexico. American seniors and their families shouldn’t make the move without much consideration, however.


“The language is different. The food is different. It’s hard enough moving from home to an assisted living. So to do that to another country, it can be very, very confusing for people,” Brenda Shorkend, a senior care consultant outside Los Angeles, told NPR.

Additionally, American seniors who move into assisted living communities in Mexico can no longer rely on Medicare, as the program does not pay health care providers there, Shorkend said.

There are some American senior housing companies, meanwhile, which are actively expanding into Mexico. Belmont Village Senior Living, for instance, is in the process of building a 135-unit community in Mexico City.

Listen to NPR’s report here.

Written by Mary Kate Nelson

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