Prevent Your Parents from Being Outsourced
Posted on February 19, 2014
in Elder Care Planning
Updated 8/26/15 1:20pm | In today's Alert1 article, we're not
talking about medical
alerts for a change. Pack your bags because you're headed to Thailand.
It's a land known for fantastic cuisine, beautiful islands, perfect weather and
abundant 7-Elevens. Thailand has some of the friendliest people in the world
and some of the lowest costs of living. For savings reasons, senior retirees often flock to this
Southeast Asian country.
Thailand may soon be a potential bellwether in the future of
senior care. A BBC article details a trend where European families send their
parents to Thailand for retirement care. The destination offers
great savings and quality improvement over American and British options. The
cost of bare bones residential home care in the United States or Great Britain
ranges from $3,500 to $6,000 per month. In Thailand, luxury home care can be
had for just $3,000. It's no wonder that our parents may well be the next wave
in a rising sea of globalization.
and the New York Times often tout some elitist trends as the new wave in senior
care. I believe outsourcing care to Southeast Asia is no different. The rest of
this article details why sending
your parents away to long term care is not a valid option for most. There
are practical, cultural, financial, logistical and emotional impediments to
outsourcing mom and dad. Most of us should help our parent’s age in place
rather than considering expatriation.
Financial Pains for Seniors on a Budget
At $3,000 per month, Thai based home care still costs too much for
the average American. Most Americans cannot afford $3,000 in perpetuity for
their retirement villa. In fact, the median financial net worth of an American household today
is just $10,890. That means most of us can only afford to send our
parents to Thailand for a short vacation.
Moreover, many people are closer to zero in net assets than they
are to Thailand. Some seniors have liquidated or divested their assets in order to qualify for Medicaid and
guarantees free long term care. Medicaid covers long term care costs, while
Medicare covers housing costs for only 100 days.
Retirement Logistical Headaches
and out of Thailand will cause logistical headaches for many of us. A roundtrip
economy fare to Bangkok costs $1,200—for one person. And, depending on which
U.S. city you are flying from, the flight can reach $2,500 for my fellow
East-Coasters. From Bangkok, you have to get to wherever you're going in
Thailand. Not the easiest feat in the world. The visa will also prove
problematic, as American citizens are only allowed up to 90 days with a tourist
visa. Retirement visas are possible but only last a year at a time. Do you want
to send the creature comforts of home with your mom or dad? Shipped household
items may be additionally taxed with rates of 7%-20%. In the event of an
unforeseen emergency, a 23-hour flight (from the East Coast) will be the
longest of your life.
Emotional Wreckage on Aging Loved Ones
important, our parents need our support, our love and our family. Sending
mom to a tropical getaway may be intriguing for a weekend, but a permanent
stay can be isolating. The cost of Thailand based home care rises higher when
you factor in the cost of "missing out." You are cutting them off
from other little tiny moments that make up a large possibility of memories to
cherish forever. You are banishing them from witnessing first steps, baseball
games, board game nights and story time. You are not off-shoring your mom or
dad, you are exiling them.
testimonials from senior members who spend more time with family and
friends because they age in place with Alert1 If we want to deliver quality
care to our parents, we will help them age in place.
The Better Option: Age in Place
in place is a better option for our parents and for us. To age in place is
to live in one's own home at any age, in a safe, independent and comfortable
manner. Thailand has beaches and beauty but your dad's house has familiarity
and memories. Thailand has cheaper luxury accommodations but your mom's home is
Thailand. Thailand is awesome. It boasts beauty not found in many places. But
my mom will be staying in her own home, thank you very much.
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