Aging, Ecuador, Ecuador Senior Living, Health & Wellness, Senior Services

Cuenca, Ecuador Inaugurates New City Senior Center

Mayor Marcelo Cabrera, his wife, city dignitaries, employees, and approximately 150 seniors were present Sunday morning, April 19, as Cabrera proudly inaugurated one of Cuenca’s special projects, the “first free public senior center” also known at El Hogar del Abuelos (Home of the Grandparents).  Eight other city senior centers are in the planning stages.

See Cuenca High Life article at link below

http://cuencahighlife.com/cuenca-mayor-cabrera-inaugurates-new-city-senior-center/

Cuenca Ecuador's new city senior center in the El Vergel neighborhood
Cuenca Ecuador’s new city senior center in the El Vergel neighborhood
Aging, Ecuador, Ecuador Senior Living, Expats, Health & Wellness, Retirement, Senior Living

Guidelines for Choosing a Healthful Home or Apartment in Ecuador

Here below is a link to an article I posted on http://www.CuencaHighLife.com offering 12 key guidelines for selecting a healthful living environment in Ecuador or wherever else you choose to be.

See http://cuencahighlife.com/choosing-the-right-environments-for-healthful-living/

wide doors for easy access, glass panels for energy of light
wide doors for easy access, glass door panels for energy of light
concrete pavers instead of slippery tile or marble, safer when raining
concrete entry pavers instead of slippery tile or marble, safer to walk on when raining
round, soft furniture, no edges to hurt yourself
round, soft furniture, no edges to hurt yourself
Aging, Ecuador, End-of-Life Care, Expats, Living Abroad, Retirement, Senior Living

Why Creating an End-of-Life Plan When Living Abroad Is a Good Idea

Here below is a link to an article I wrote that was posted on CuencaHighLife.  It’s about the importance of creating an end-of-life plan if you live in Ecuador.  The bigger message is that it is wise to have such a plan in place where ever you chose to live.

Ecuador, is ruled by civil law. North America and England are ruled by common law. Different systems, different procedures.

Why creating an end-of-life plan in Ecuador is a good idea for expats | CuencaHighLife.

 

Camposanto Santa Ana, a    cemetery in Cuenca, Ecuador
Camposanto Santa Ana, a
cemetery in Cuenca, Ecuador
Aging, Ecuador, Ecuador Senior Living, Emergency Preparedness, Health & Wellness, Retirement

Senior Care Options in Ecuador, Overseas Radio Program

Hello dear friends and readers,

I was on the radio today.
http://overseasradio.com/ashley-rogers-and-michel-blanchard/   See the archives for January 5, 2015 for the download.

Big oops. My hostess was stellar. I was energetically flat for a subject I am so passionate about, and a bit off point. I know better. Am praying to redeem myself on another program later. 😉

Here below are a few observations I had intended to clarify:

I have lived or worked in over 40 countries and am truly blessed that I have maintained my health with the exception of being thrown from the back of a Vespa in Rome, Italy – Vespa hit by a truck – two cracked vertebrae. I fortunately healed and have no residual effects.

This experience, among others, led to one important point of our radio chat…

No matter where you choose to live, please give thought to your physical and mental well-being, especially if you are over 50. Self-care is everything for your future, though accidents are sometimes not in our control.

We are all subject to falls despite the place we choose to reside in or travel to. In Ecuador, where sidewalks are rarely flat, smooth, and wide, you can unwittingly fall into ditches, and the street. You can also trip on exposed rebar and protruding cement edges. When it rains, you can glide right across the marble and shiny tiles in front of buildings and splat. Do you want broken bones? Plan on looking down a lot and being mindful.

We are not all made the same when it comes to oxygen intake. The altitude in most Andean cities is between 6,000 and 9,500 feet. Some who are new to high altitude adjust well, others do not and do not know it. I recommend bringing a blood pressure cuff and reading your blood pressure each day. Also, as one ages, I am told we receive less oxygen into our bodies than when we are younger.  Options: bring liquid oxygen drops (haven’t found them here) drink coca de mate tea easily found in any store, go slowly, or, move to a lower elevation. The North American community has lost members who arrived with no chronic health conditions and a clean bill of health – they unwittingly succumbed because of the oxygen issue. These incidents remind me of the childhood story of Heidi and the fresh mountain air in Switzerland that healed her. I had always concluded that high elevation would be good for me or anyone else. Patrick Coady of http://www.southamericanhealth.com has written a fine article about living at high altitude and how to handle it:
http://cuenca-news.gringotree.com/living-at-elevation-cautions-advantages-for-your-health/

If you plan to live in Ecuador, make certain to create a Constancia or a Documentacion Juramentada for end-of-life arrangements. Your Advanced Health Care Directive or your Five Wishes are not valid in the country even if notarized, apostilled and translated into Spanish.  Again, your North American documents will not be recognized. If you wish to be cremated this is especially important. The number of days and bureaucracy required for your loved ones to negotiate the system is more than challenging, especially if they are grieving and far away. Different culture, different mentality.

Health Care Prevention and Emergencies in Cuenca in brief:

I had not intended to sound like an advertisement for people whose work I admire, but there is no getting around it. Trainers Ken Dobberpuhl of ZealCenter.com, Chelsea Gary at http://www.shaome.com, and Sky Rajewski will help you stay in shape if you have balance issues or injuries. They will also recommend physical therapists. They focus on keeping you well.

In 2014, the In Case of Emergency Cuenca volunteer team created lists of health-related emergency resources.  You can locate the information on a local church web site, http://www.internationalchristiancommunity.org/health-resources.html. The names include providers who speak English – but please beware, you are provided with lists, not recommendations. Do your due diligence as you would in your country of origin or elsewhere as to the person or persons whom you will feel comfortable with.  The church kindly provided space for the In Case of Emergency Cuenca team to deliver free seminars of interest to Europeans and North Americans residing in the city in 2014.  The next seminar will focus on End-of-Life and is planned for sometime in spring 2015.  Look for announcements on on-line newsletters Gringo Post and Gringo Tree.

Other holistic mentions for Cuenca:

Cuenca Holistic Network founded by psychologist Robert Higgins, a group of North American and Ecuadorian alternative healthcare workers    www.CuencaHolisticHealth.com

Patrick Coady and Silvana Spano of http://www.SouthAmericanHealth.com

Dr. Hugo Alvarez, MD and naturopath, a Cuencano who lived 25 years in Canada

Dr. Francisco Malo Tamariz, General Medicine and Ayurveda

Other MD’s are on the church web site link above.

When discussing senior health care in Latin America, the quality of care in Mexico was inadvertently omitted.  In many cities, medical care is truly excellent.  Assisted living in Mexico is often on a par with the U.S., depending what state and city of Mexico you are in, and as in the U.S., what funds you have.  The “carino” that was mentioned is also prevalent in Mexico.  Cuba, a leader is gerontology, has waiting lists at assisted living homes.  This is due to current economics.  Chile, also a leader in gerontology, has sophisticated senior care in Santiago.

Assisted Living, Ecuador, Ecuador Senior Living, Health & Wellness

International Day of Older Persons in Cuenca, Ecuador

sweethearts from Sayusi
sweethearts from Sayusi

 

October 1 is International Day of Older Persons. It has been recognized as such since the acceptance of a UN decree December 14, 1990.

According to the World Health Organization, an arm of the U.N., there are 600 million persons around the world who are 60 or over. By 2025 the number of older adults is expected to double, and by 2050, there will be 2 billion, the vast majority of whom will be from developing nations.

One such developing nation is Ecuador which celebrates this day with parades and festivities in cities nationwide.

Seniors in Ecuador, whether from privileged backgrounds or farming communities, participate with gusto.

In Cuenca, an Andean city, the province of Azuay, the city, national government social services (MIES), assisted living homes, and the University of Older Adults participate. Yesterday, according to MIES, over 1000 seniors marched in the parade from the corner of Borrero in front of a MIES office, all the way down Calle Larga, a main city street, to the Banco Central, about a 1/2 mile away. In the courtyard of the Banco Central there was dancing, a senior band, a play, Ecuadorian food, and handicrafts made by seniors.

Below are photos of the memorable event…

University of Older Adults for "active, healthy, and productive aging"
University of Older Adults for “active, healthy, and productive aging”

 

Graduates of the University of Older Adults
Graduates of the University of Older Adults
Seniors from Plentitud Assisted Living led by their dedicated administrator Dolores with pin on lapel
Seniors from Plentitud Assisted Living led by their dedicated administrator Dolores with pin on lapel
real life sweethearts...
real life sweethearts…

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senior band from a pueblo outside the city
senior band from a pueblo outside the city

 

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crafts handmade by seniors for sale
crafts handmade by seniors for sale
more handicrafts
more handicrafts
made with love
made with love
precious lady making a straw hat
precious lady making a straw hat
cuy aka roasted guinea pig, a favorite Cuencano food
cuy aka roasted guinea pig, a favorite Cuencano food
pork and potato/corn patties prepared by Plentitud Assisted Living
pork and potato/corn patties prepared by Plentitud Assisted Living

 

 

 

listening to music
listening to music
Pedro Calle, MIES sociologist w/ Lcda Yolanda Arias, MIES Senior Analyst
Pedro Calle, MIES sociologist w/ Lcda Yolanda Arias, MIES Senior Analyst

 

Ecuador, Ecuador Senior Living, Health & Wellness, Pakakuna Gardens, Retirement, Senior Living

Healing, Healthful Living at Pakakuna Gardens, Ecuador

A Paradise on Earth…

Pakakuna Gardens, “a dream come true,” is the most healing, healthful, sacred place I have discovered in Ecuador. When an abundance of funds arrive, and if I would choose to live in Ecuador, this is where it would be.

Why?

It is quiet, beautiful, and created with immense love and care by its owners, a retired Swiss psychiatrist and his exquisite Bolivian wife, who invested 30 years to manifest their vision of paradise on earth. They began with a piece of empty land, one large tree, and access to water. They built their first home, now the Club House, in traditional style with stucco, concrete, stone, and wood, and set the plan for the property with stone and tile driveways (imagine Italy), meandering paths, ponds, verdant trees that create canopies, plants, and magical flowers. Then gradually, in the last few years, construction began on other eco-friendly homes with modern conveniences, attractive by western standards, and with the energy of light. The entire property displays extraordinary attention to detail.

Pakakuna Gardens entry road
Pakakuna Gardens entry road

 

One must walk the grounds, and see and feel this peaceful place away from the roaring crowds, traffic, and city pollution to understand its intrinsic value.

 

the grounds at Pakakuna Gardens
the grounds at Pakakuna Gardens

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What are the amenities?

This 150 residence community, gated and guarded, offers internal mobility with golf carts, an internationally recognized club house, a gourmet restaurant (upscale for Ecuador), 8 room hotel service for your guests, heated swimming pools (both indoor and outdoor), Internet, a library and video library, a church, a mini-market, a coffee house, a bakery, a beauty salon and men’s barber, relaxation massage, horseback riding, a spa, tennis courts, back up emergency generators for electricity, illuminated roads, garden maintenance, rubbish removal, and most importantly 24 hour medical care (in the works) – general practice, geriatrics, dentistry, psychotherapy for older adults, physical therapy, hydrotherapy, alternative medicine options, a pharmacy, ambulance service 24 hours, and a helicopter landing zone.

 

The Club House
The Club House

 

the outdoor pool
the outdoor pool

What makes this beautiful place standout among all others in Ecuador?

The intention (though not stated) to attract like-minded, spiritually oriented people focused on sustainability and peaceful living, the abundance of water on the property, the availability of fresh organic produce from neighboring farms (each residence at Pakakuna has a lemon, avocado, and other fruit tree), temperate weather, and most of all how monthly community fees are donated to the Pakakuna Foundation which provides for the needs of the elderly indigenous in the adjacent village of Puembo. Everyone who lives or works at Pakakuna is blessed with holistic living at its best.

 

Pakakuna Gardens home
Pakakuna Gardens home

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If you are seeking wellness, evolved people, and a restorative environment, Pakakuna could be a blessing for your life.

Pakakuna Gardens is located in the Checa Valley about 35 minutes from Quito, and a 15 minute drive to the new international airport of Quito.

Write www.pakakunagardens.org, info@pakakunagardens.org or call (593)(2)222-8781 or 600-4848 for more details.