Alzheimers Assisted Living in Thailand
Alzheimers assisted living in Thailand is comparable to what can provide at home and more affordable than a $12,000/month Swiss special care facility, according to one of our clients.
A Swiss gentleman, responsible for his afflicted father, approached us requesting a custom workshop designed to find an Alzheimer’s special care facility in Thailand. Caring for family members with Alzheimer’s is as big a problem for Europeans as it is for Americans: our Swiss client told us that he was facing bills of $12,000/month for his dad. We got his father settled – in a facility superior to the one in Switzerland – for $2,600/mo.
The drawback is Thailand’s distance. If you can deal with this then the choice is clear: Thailand is far less expensive for both patient and carer. Alzheimers assisted living in Thailand has five advantages:
- Lower cost
- Better nursing
- Better medical care
- Better cultural environment
- More humane and cheerful facilities.
Care Costs Less
- Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has pledged to raise the daily minimum wage to Bt300 ($10) per day nationwide. So Alzheimers assisted living in Thailand costs 25% of the USA/UK/Europe/Australia.
- Land is plentiful and construction materials are cheap. Labor costs are low. Thais construct care facilities of extremely high quality yet quite inexpensively.
- Cost of living in Thailand is low for both the patient and carer. You can rent a nice studio apartment nearby for $250/month.
Nursing is Better
In the West patient care standards have fallen as the importance of profits has risen. Today’s harried nurses, working in deliberately understaffed facilities, have little time to devote to the bedside chats that were once an integral part of the caring process. In Thailand, overstaffing is the rule – everywhere. Staff in my favorite riverside coffee shop always outnumber customers. When the girls see me pull into the parking lot they have the WiFi switched on, a cushion on my favorite chair, my music playing, and my daily order (iced organic arabica cafe latte frappe with little ice) waiting on my table with, naturally, something to nibble, and a glass of iced water. The cost, 59 Baht ($1.99), is considered high here, but I refuse to complain. The same is true in Alzheimer’s assisted living facilities: after a recent accident I spent hours in the emergency ward. Four nurses fussed over me, covering my with a (warmed!) blanket as I lay on the gurney, bringing glasses of iced water and stroking my injured leg while chatting in charming, fractured English. They were in no hurry and, after a while, I was in no hurry to leave. The bill? 500 Baht ($17)
Better Medical Care
It seems strange to claim that medical care in Thailand could be better than in the countries where Western medical care originated, but it is. Not because of the physicians’ training – which is often identical, down to attending the same medical schools – but because of time and attitude. Thai physicians do not expect to get rich. They expect to take care of people for the rest of their lives, and cure them. They devote themselves to that with the single-mindedness we expect in the Orient.
Thai Cultural Environment
Thailand, though officially Buddhist, has a Confucian family- and social-culture which maintains a tradition of genuine respect for older people. The elderly are almost always lovingly cared for within the family by the daughter for as long as possible. The entire family makes great sacrifices to support this home elder care, because not to do so would bring unbearable shame upon them. In Thai care facilities, seniors with Alzheimer are treated with love and dignity because that is how every Thai, without exception, has been brought up to treat older people.
He left intact the original building shown in the picture above because of its historical value, but the nursing facilities are 21st. century and because a Thai businessperson who constructed an ugly or cheap facility would lose respect (face: ไปแขงกแพ ขายขหนาเปลา ๆ bpai kàeng gôr páe kăai kêe ่้ ้่ nâa bplào-bplào) amongst his peers in Thai society, as would his family. Thais prefer to construct prestigious edifices with graceful colonnades and beautiful plantings, thereby gaining respect amongst their associates. Of course, there is also compelling market pressure to construct attractive facilities: customers prefer them.
General Nursing Home Care
Nursing home care in Thailand costs less than half the rate for Alzheimer’s care: it starts at $1,000/month for a good, professional facility.
If Alzheimer’s assisted living is a consideration for you, watch this short video about choosing care for your family member. It’s from the Alzheimer’s Association of America:
General Readings on Alzheimers Assisted Living
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