Today’s Photo: Catedral de La Inmaculada Concepción in Cuenca
To all South of Zero readers. Our blog has been mainly about those retiring in Ecuador and I’m assuming that most of you are of retirement age. Since Mary and I have been living in Cuenca life has been WAY better than we ever imagined. We’ve been pushing the boundaries every day and expanding our sphere of knowledge. We walk a little farther, explore that street we’ve never been on… seek out the unknown, go where no Xpadorian has gone before. And always be willing to check out a new place to eat that friends recommend (thanks Bo and Linda). Ecuador is a land of enchantment. This country has sooooo much to offer that if Cuenca isn’t right for you, you will be able to find some place here that is close to perfection.
What I want to talk about today is for those of you out there that have a family member that is either handicapped, like my brother Dave, or an elderly parent that needs fulltime caregiving, or have thought about what you would do if, God forbid, anything were to happen to yourself or your loving mate. I struggled for 27 years to solve the problem of what I was going do with my brother Dave.
In 1985, at the age of 25, he suffered a traumatic brain injury while motorcycling in the dessert. When my mother passed away ten years later the responsibility for his care became mine. We struggled to find a place that he himself could afford on his disability income. Interesting enough his income was too high to qualify for some programs and others were not suitable for his kind of disability. The lack of short term memory leaves him very vulnerable to those who would take advantage of him. Eventually he came to live with me and my wife Mary. As you can imagine it was very stressful for the three of us.
The truth is Dave was the impetus for our move to Ecuador. My wife stumbled upon the article titled “Live like a King off your Social Security.” It went on to describe Ecuador’s affordability and suddenly the light bulb went off that Dave could afford to have his own full time housekeeper and cook. We immediately set the plan in motion not knowing that it would take nearly two and a half years to sell our house. In the meantime a team of doctors were discussing plans to build an assisted living facility in Cuenca.
Any of you who have researched assisted living in the States know that IT’S NOT CHEAP!!!!!!! Three to four thousand dollars or more per month is typically what you’re looking at. What are the chances that your relative makes this much and that YOU will be able to cover the difference? The monthly cost alone can easily exceed the car payment of a BMW. Sobering… Well, there is a solution in Cuenca, Ecuador. It’s called Años Dorados (Golden Years). My brother lives there now and from our personal experience it’s a God’s send. Doctors regularly attend in house, medical personnel are available 24 hours a day, his medications and meals are monitored daily and tender loving care is the norm. They clean his room, wash his clothes, he even gets a haircut once a month. The best thing for our family is the fact that Dave can afford to take care of his needs without monetary contribution from anyone else.
So, if future retirement in Ecuador is on your radar and you like the thought of being able to have the time of your life in a land where the people are so nice and the cost of living is so reasonable, you can rest assure that your loved one will be well taken care of at Años Dorados.