Making the decision to leave behind your hometown and starting a new life in Mexico can be fraught with uncertainty—especially if you require assisted care. Nevertheless, the warm climate, stellar service, and reasonable cost have attracted customers from around the world to spend their golden years in Mexico. You might be wondering to yourself: how do I find assisted living in Mexico? Where can I find assisted living in Mexico? That’s why WeExpats put together a comprehensive guide to help you find assisted living in Mexico.
WHY SHOULD YOU CONSIDER ASSISTED LIVING IN MEXICO:
Assisted Living in Mexico is certainly a growing option for Baby Boomers who would like a higher quality of life than they would be able to find in their home countries. Many American and Canadian expats have decided to embrace the rich culture that Mexico has to offer—so much so, that the market for foreign retirees to embrace assisted living in Mexico has been growing.
Typically the quality of care in Mexico is the same as that in the United States. However, the side of your assisted living home in Mexico can be a factor as well. Communities in the United States are generally over twice as large as those in Mexico. On average, those communities in the US have 45 residents, whereas residents at assisted living homes in Mexico have between 15 – 20 residents.
FACTORS TO HELP YOU PICK ASSISTED LIVING IN MEXICO:
– Location –
The location of your stay is a huge factor in making your decision for where to find assisted living in Mexico. You should consider your particular taste in climate and geography (whether you like mountains, beaches, or idyllic villages), and then factor those into your particular budget. Facilities near the ocean or in very hot climates often cost more than other locations because of air conditioning. We have decided to list off several locations that are popular, and divide the locations into two general categories: Expat Communities and the Mexican Border States.
Expat Communities: Ajijic, San Miguel de Allende, Lake Chapala, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico City, Merida, and Mazatlan are very popular locations. Expat communities can benefit your assisted living in Mexico because often volunteers come from these communities so they will speak English and help for a smoother transition.
Border States: Tijuana, Rosarito, Chihuahua, Monterrey, and Cuidad Juarez are examples of border state assisted living communities in Mexico. These communities are convenient alternatives for seniors who have family members on the other side of the border. If you have family in San Diego or El Paso for example, then these can be very convenient for seeing your loved ones while still paying a percentage of what you would pay in the United States.
*Note: CCRCs (Continuing Care Retirement Communities) are in the works in Lake Chapala, Baja California, and Cancun, as per the Life Plan Community Guidelines. These are expected to be constructed in the coming years by American and European developers. For more information, click here.
– Cost –
The cost of assisted living in Mexico is substantially cheaper in Mexico. On average, assisted living in Mexico is 50% – 70% less than in the United States. Ranging from $600 – $3500 USD a month, your dollar will stretch farther in Mexican pesos than in the United States. The national average in the United States is $3,500 USD, however, if it is in a densely populated area, that figure can even skyrocket to $5,000 or $6,000 USD a month.
– There Are Other Options for Assisted Living in Mexico –
Many people forget that there are other options for assisted living in Mexico. Many nuns are also registered nurses, and they will take in seniors and care for them quite well regardless whether or not you are Catholic. Also, governmental homes are often open to foreigners who have residency cards. These can vary greatly in quality, so be sure to conduct site visits.
MEDICARE, AND MEDICAL INSURANCE FOR ASSISTED LIVING IN MEXICO:
Pharmacies, hospitals, and doctors are not authorized to accept Medicare for expats from the United States. If you are along the border, this can be less of an obstacle because seeing a doctor or receiving prescription medication is right on the other side of the border.
However, if you are deeper in Mexico, this can present an issue. Though many assisted living facilities in Mexico have an onsite doctor whose visits are included in the price tag, this doctor is generally sufficient for simple illnesses and basic prescriptions. If you suffer from more complex ailments, or if you have an emergency, then you should consider purchasing health insurance to cover medical costs should anything arise for yourself or your loved one in assisted living in Mexico.
The prices are very reasonable, and the quality of care is on par with any location in the United States. To learn more about the quality of care in Mexico, click here.
For a free quote for health insurance, click here.
For a full buyers guide on purchasing health insurance, click here.
DOING YOUR RESEARCH CAN HELP YOU FIND ASSISTED LIVING IN MEXICO:
– Conduct Site Visits –
There is no better way to find out what the care is like in assisted living in Mexico than to actually visit a location. Talk to the residents. Arrive at meal time. Most importantly, ask yourself the following questions:
- Was I greeted when I arrived?
- Is the place comfortable and clean?
- Do the residents seem happy?
- Could I see myself living here?
- Do the residents seem bored?
- Are there activities?
- Does the food seem fresh and healthy?
– Do Online Research –
Due to the popularity of Canadian and American expats moving to Mexico for assisted living, care homes in Mexico often have online websites in English that can help you in choosing where to visit.
– Organizations That Can Help –
With the increase of residents seeking assisted living in Mexico, organizations have arisen to meet the challenges of helping seniors find assisted living that is right for them. One of the most prominent is AMAR: The Mexican Association for Assisted Living. This not-for-profit organization is committed to regulated the assisted living communities in Mexico in hopes of building a stronger housing market for senior citizens while ensuring they receive wonderful care and have a brilliant quality of life.
They can help their senior members with:
- Financial issues
- Legal matters
- Real estate consulting
- Nursing and healthcare
- Finding assisted living facilities in Mexico
- Medical service
- Foreign investment counseling
For more information, click here.
CONCERNS FOR ASSISTED LIVING IN MEXICO:
There are some things that you should be aware of when you are considering assisted living in Mexico. In Mexico, there is little distinction between care facilities as they are in the United States and Canada. Often memory care residents and physically disabled residents are put together in the same space. In Mexico, care facilities can include:
- Nursing homes
- Rehabilitation centers
- Traditional assisted living
No two places are alike. Assisted living in Mexico is not regulated as strictly as they are in the United States. Socially, environmentally, financially, and in other ways, these assisted living homes in Mexico will differ greatly. Be sure to visit them in person before you make your decision.
Many places that are targeting American and Canadian expats to assisted living in Mexico have made efforts to accommodate their foreign residents in easing culture shock. However, there are bound to be cultural differences. For example, many places serve Mexican food without the heavy spices that are commonly found throughout the rest of Mexico. Other places serve more American options such as pasta and sandwiches. Be sure to ask about meal options, and if possible visit them during meal time.
Many American and Canadian expats are concerned about not speaking Spanish. In reality, it is not a massive issue. Any assisted living facilities in Mexico that are seeking to target expats will have a competent staff that can communicate in English. That said, if you find assisted living care in an area where there are not many English-speakers, that are targeting Mexican locals, or assisted living facilities in Mexico that are not targeting foreign expats, then you might want to brush up on your Spanish.