Unconventional Care: Alternatives to Assisted Living

This is a website about assisted care, but that doesn’t have to take place in an assisted living home.  For most of history, families have taken care of their parents and relatives as they aged.  In today’s global and commercial world, there are options for care outside of the traditional system.  They are unconventional and probably aren’t appropriate for most seniors.  Nevertheless, even if these options aren’t right for your family, hopefully they open your mind to other unique approaches to care.

Courtesy: Flikr's Savannah Grandfather

Courtesy: Flikr's Savannah Grandfather

The Floating Assisted Living Facility: “Cruise Care”
Cruises are a lot of fun.  Someone cleans your room, makes your bed, and cooks your meals.  There are lots of sponsored activities and opportunities to interact with interesting people from around the world.  Plus, there are plenty of staff members willing to help you if you simply call the front desk.  There is even a physician on duty.  It kind of sounds like assisted living on steroids.  People in the industry have dubbed it “Cruise Care.”  An article in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society found that cruise ships accommodate many of the needs of aging seniors at a cost comparable to assisted living care.  Cruise ships still need to vamp up their individual care services to be a true substitute to a traditional facility.  However, there is no doubt that the selection of food would be better.  If a senior has limited needs, cruises are an attractive option to living a large burdensome house.  Cruises are able to offer so much more than a traditional facility because their labor costs are so low.  However, you don’t have to live on the high seas to take advantage of lower labor costs in other parts of the world.

Outsourcing Care
Often seniors move across the country to be closer to their loved ones as they age.  Why not move to the other side of the world to take advantage of exceptional care at incredible prices?  One man had his parents do just that as they struggled with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.  He moved his parents to India so that he could afford to provide them with first-rate care that would be prohibitively expensive in the United States.  In India, $2,000 paid for “a cook, a valet for his father, nurses to be with his mother 12 hours a day, six days a week, a physiotherapist and a masseuse - and drugs.” You can read about his story here.

While India is a long way away, Mexico is a closer, albeit more expensive alternative.  It may seem cruel to send your parents away as they end their end of their life.  But, if you work overseas it may be attractive.   Seniors interested in living abroad should keep in mind that if they do require in-home care, it is likely much more affordable outside of the United States.

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