Sweet Zenaida, daughter of Juan Pablo II resident Jose, with precious volunteer Mari who is not only a warm greeter at the home but is part of the outreach to over 30 seniors in the neighborhood
This week Guadalajara, Mexico has seen senior centers, DIF (government social services), non-profits serving older adults, and private sector senior residences celebrating Mexico’s Day of the Older Adult, also referred to as Dia de los Abuelos (Day of the Grandparents). The occasion has been feted every August 28 since 1982.
Guadalajara’s parish of San Bernardo, a social justice block with a church serving 3,000 parishioners, houses a two floor senior home, Asilo Juan Pablo II, where festivities have been in full force. (The diocese also provides a school for Downs Syndrome children, a rehabilitation home for over 50 men, and a palliative care and hospice with 8 beds and outreach to 65 patients, Juntos Contra el Dolor). The Sr. Cura of the Church, Father Engelberto Polino Sanchez is the guardian for the community.
On Saturday, August 27, DIF sponsored a breakfast for the 52 male and female residents. On Sunday, August 28, Father Engelberto celebrated mass. Afterward, the older adults enjoyed a meal of pozole (a stew of vegetables, hominy, and pork) served with jamaica (a hibiscus drink), plus live Mexican music provided by an electric piano and a singer. Mexicans love festivities and the seniors at Asilo Juan Pablo II are no different. They were happy campers.
Below are photos commemorating those in support of older adults, as well as the appreciative seniors who live at Asilo Juan Pablo II. It is a Mexican custom for the older generation not to smile too quickly in photos. An exception, the charming church priests below with their energy of light…
Sr. Cura Engelberto who presided mass for the seniors on Mexican Day of Older Adults pictured with Padre Francisco of Templo de San Bernardo, Guadalajara
Reverent seniors, about 30 of whom are wheel chair bound at Asilo Juan Pablo II, Guadalajara, attending mass on Mexico’s Day of Older Adults
senior who is not feeling well with Alicia, an adorable favorite enjoying pozole
disabled senior with super attentive wife who kindly dances with and cheers up other seniors
Severely disabled man Eliseo who is not a senior, rescued from the street and given a home at Asilo Juan Pablo II. He is popular for his enthusiasm
Dancing at Day of the Older Adults, Asilo Juan Pablo II, Guadalajara, Mexico
Note: The Juan Pablo II home, a non-profit, is well run. There are challenges with raising funds and providing enough for the residents. The home survives successfully, none the less. Seniors with pensions pay for private or shared rooms. There are indigent seniors who have been rescued. One disabled man around the age of 50, was found in the streets and is living most contentedly at the assisted living, as mentioned in photo above.
The dedicated administrator Bertha C. Gonzalez offers a clean, efficient service with good standards for quality of life in Mexico, up to and including Mexican carino (kindness and care). She hand selects and supervises a team of nursing assistants and nurses, many of whom are sent by various schools to train at the home. Every day there is occupational therapy and some form of physical workout. Every other day there is entertainment, among other activities. Many residents are talented artists, handicrafts experts, and poets. The home is connected to the large church so that those in wheelchairs can attend services easily. Being Catholic is not a requirement for residency. The home is currently full. There is a waiting list.
The senior home has outreach to around 30 elders living in the neighborhood through its volunteer group Asilo en Salida. Mari, featured in the first photo, also goes out with the group. For more information about the activities write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Asilo Juan Pablo II Pro Dignidad Humana, AC email@example.com
Av. Plan de San Luis #1616 Col. Mezquitan Country tel. 3824-5368
Sr. Cura Engelberto Polino Sanchez, Director General
Bertha C. Gonzalez, Administrator Maria Delores Cortes, social worker
August 31, 2016 at 11:47 am
Juntos Contra el Dolor – “we are helping diminish pain”
Juntos Contra el Dolor, A.C., the only 24-7 palliative care/hospice in Jalisco, Mexico, held a kermes to raise funds for its humanitarian medical effort which aides patients with chronic pain, and, at end of life. The Juntos team also provides psychological and spiritual support to families of patients.
The kermes was held on a Sunday from 8 a.m.to 2 p.m. outside the Templo of San Bernardo on Plan San Luis in northwestern Guadalajara, a church with 3,000 parishioners.
A Mexican kermes is an outdoor party for a special cause. To support the cause, people buy food and drink. The Juntos kermes served tacos with birria, quesadillas, homemade jamaica (a hibiscus drink) and horchata (a rice drink). Juntos brochures were on each table.
The nurses, who are the only paid staff (except for volunteer retired nurse Rocio), were taking care of patients at the hospital around the block..
The Spanish word kermes is derived from the Turkish word kermes which originally meant a handicraft bazaar to raise money for charity. It is also derived from the Dutch word kermesse, (kerk = church, mis = mass), a festival after mass.
setting tables for the kermes
Founder Dra Susana Lua Nava with volunteer nurse Rocio
volunteer nurse Rocio and volunteer coordinator Nena
volunteer social workers Silvia and Lupita
sister volunteers – Marta and administrator Sara on the right
August 17, 2016 at 3:18 am
Not long ago I addressed a group of Canadians and Americans at an Open Circle chat at the Lake Chapala Society in Ajijic, Mexico. Most of the attendees were full-time residents with the lay of the land, but curious newcomers attended as well.
The most meaningful part of the presentation? Introducing American and Mexican senior living owners to the audience. After the chat they were able to become acquainted with one another.
In the photo below, four Mexican registered nurse owners are represented. I am the person holding the microphone.
Senior Care Specialist Wendy Jane Carrel introduces owners of Senior Homes at Lake Chapala to Americans and Canadians
Senior Housing Forum posted my article based on the talk.. See http://tinyurl.com/zoz9zdf or https://www.seniorhousingforum.net/blog/2016/8/3/will-mexico-solve-senior-living-affordability-problem to read the entire piece, or, read below…
Will Mexico Solve the Senior Living Affordability Problem?
Published on Wed, 08/03/2016 – 4:55pm
By Wendy Jane Carrel, wellnessshepherd.com
If you cannot afford healthcare or retirement in Canada or the U.S., what are your options? Where do you look?
For the last five decades, and especially since the U.S. economic challenges that became apparent in 2007-2008, retirees have been choosing destinations in Asia, Europe, and Latin America.
Despite news about crime and drug cartels, Mexico reigns as the number one choice for most American and Canadians, primarily because of its lower costs, warmer weather, health care choices, and location so close to home.
According to U.S. Consulates in Mexico there is a current count of between 1.2 – 1.4 million Americans living in Baja California, Cancun, Lake Chapala, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, San Miguel Allende, and other areas. (The number also includes Americans who are not retired). According to the Canadian Consulate in Guadalajara and the Canadians Abroad Registry, approximately 10,000 Canadians are registered in high season and 1,500 are registered as retired full time in Mexico. Not all Canadians register.
Choices for senior living in Mexico are not all that dissimilar to those in Canada and the U.S.:
Aging in Place – independent living in your own home or apartment
Aging in Community – co-housing
Assisted Living – if you require care and cannot afford full-time care at home
Nursing Care and Rehabilitation
Currently, at Lake Chapala, Mexico there are in the neighborhood of 20,000 retired Americans and Canadians.
North shore Lake Chapala, which includes the communities of Ajijic, Chapala, Jocotepec, San Antonio, and San Juan Cosala (40 minutes drive time from one end of north shore to the other), has several options for senior living with others being planned.
What is different from Canada and the U.S. is the cost of living, especially for health care, often up to two-thirds less.
What is also different is that there are no Life Planning (continuing care) models at Lake Chapala. A project was planned three years ago and has yet to be built. There is one, however, that will open in Mexico City sometime this fall.
Another difference is that in Canada and the U.S. Alzheimer’s and dementia patients are in separate areas on a campus. In most of Mexico, dementia patients are living and sharing the same space with older adults who have mobility issues, not dementia issues, and the care is rarely specialized.
Mexican senior homes are under the purview of the Ministry of Public Health and local fire departments. They are not tightly regulated and inspected as they are in Canada and the U.S.
What is available at Lake Chapala now?
Three co-housing/independent living options – one in Ajijic with three individual apartments and five casitas, a pool, lakeside views, and two meals a day; one in Riberas del Pilar on two levels where residents have their own apartment, are provided with two meals a day, and have access to a library, a gym, and a pool; and one in San Juan Cosala, focusing on health, green living, and sustainability.
At the first two if you become immobile or develop serious health issues you would need to move. At the property in San Juan Cosala (in development) you can invite caregivers to your living quarters.
Three assisted living homes specializing in Alzheimer’s and dementia care – one is run by a geriatrician and a nurse, the other two by nurses with doctors on call. One of these homes plans to add a second home in the near future for a total of four dedicated Alzheimer’s care homes at the lake to meet the growing need.
Six homes combine assisted living, nursing and some rehabilitation.
That number climbs to seven if you include two rooms above the offices of a physician in Ajijic (no rehab), and 9 if you include one owner who has three homes (no rehab).
It climbs to 10 choices with an American-owned recovery care center for plastic surgery (more like a B & B) where you can also rent suites. The recovery center has been in existence for almost 20 years.
The total number of choices reaches 11 if you include a low-income senior home in Chapala which also has Mexican residents.
Four properties have owners who live on site. These properties are either American- or Canadian-owned, or, owned by English-speaking Mexicans who focus on serving the expat community. There usually is one person who speaks English at the senior living options at Lake Chapala.
The above-mentioned places are private pay. Monthly costs for private pay assisted living at Lake Chapala range between $1,000 and $2,000 U.S. per month except for the home in Chapala. (The average U.S. private pay is $3200-$3500, and up to $12,000/month or more for Alzheimer’s care).
Most care homes at the lake have 12 or fewer residents. Service is considered personalized. In many instances there is the quality of “carino,” caregivers treating you like a lovable member of the family.
There are 125 senior living homes in the state of Jalisco, housing 1,723 elders. These numbers include only Mexican citizens. Not included are Americans and Canadians at Lake Chapala or in Puerto Vallarta. There are approximately 758,000 older adults in Jalisco state.
In Guadalajara, an hour from Lake Chapala, there are three models of senior care – private pay, non-profit care primarily with nuns (usually excellent quality), and government care (usually DIF, a social services entity that exists throughout Mexico). Prices range from gratis for the indigent to around $400-$800 U.S. for those with pensions, and up to $3500 U.S. for private pay.
Note: I have met Americans with incomes of $600 or less/month who are living comfortably and safely in Mexican assisted living homes throughout the country.
Canadian retirees make new homes in Mexico
Instituto Nacional de Estadistica y Geografia National Institute of Statistics and Geography
US State Department – Relations with Mexico
* Cover photo of Lake Chapala courtesy of en.wikipedia.org
** Map of Lake Chapala region courtesy of mexico-insights.com
August 4, 2016 at 9:43 pm