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Dick Crank

Too old for Thailand?

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I'm getting a bit older now. Not as mobile as I once was. This situations not going to get better as time goes on.

 

I'm thinking of returning to Thailand  (I lived there seven years when I was younger). I'm in an affluent country now in a comfortable situation, but am single and bored.

 

anyone towards their 70's have any suggestions or stories on how they get along with mobility and daily living in a country that can be challenging physically as you get older?

 

or am I just dreaming and yearning for youth again and need to accept where I am and have the support structure in place? If I leave now it won't be easy to return again to my current situation here.

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I'm 68 and I've lived here for 16 years, I'm now starting to have mobility problems resulting from spinal damage and am looking ahead to my future, clearly, Thailand is not the place to be if you're wheelchair bound. As a consequence, I'm now looking to transition out over time spending less and less time here beginning this year.  There isn't much here by way of wheelchair friendly environments, the UK is much better but is far from perfect - given a choice between the two locations and being mobile versus static AND bored versus not so bored, I have to choose being mobile but perhaps slightly bored in the UK, boredom is, however, something a person can influence and control, much more so than mobility.. 

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i'm 50 and i'm in so much pain i am pretty much stuck in my hotel,

i wish i was in an elderly home back home

so i wouldnt have to get up on my feet ever again,

but alas, its too painful to go back,

and i cant find a trustworthy source of nembutal

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OP if you have mobility problem Thailand is not the place for you.

AS simon1490 said Thailand is not the place to be if you are wheelchair bound.

It is a nightmare for disabled people, i know i am wheelchair bound and very wary of going outside the gate. 

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12 minutes ago, colinneil said:

OP if you have mobility problem Thailand is not the place for you.

AS simon1490 said Thailand is not the place to be if you are wheelchair bound.

It is a nightmare for disabled people, i know i am wheelchair bound and very wary of going outside the gate. 

How do you cope with necessities, cooking, daily tasks? Is it easy to hire assistants for that sort of thing and how much does that kind of help cost?

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1 minute ago, Dick Crank said:

How do you cope with necessities, cooking, daily tasks? Is it easy to hire assistants for that sort of thing and how much does that kind of help cost?

I'm currently mobile but I'm looking to the future. 

 

There are homes for people with disabilities but they are not inexpensive, I also know of one neighbour who has a full time live in home help so it can be done, I can't speak to costs however.

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1 hour ago, simoh1490 said:

I'm 68 and I've lived here for 16 years, I'm now starting to have mobility problems resulting from spinal damage and am looking ahead to my future, clearly, Thailand is not the place to be if you're wheelchair bound. As a consequence, I'm now looking to transition out over time spending less and less time here beginning this year.  There isn't much here by way of wheelchair friendly environments, the UK is much better but is far from perfect - given a choice between the two locations and being mobile versus static AND bored versus not so bored, I have to choose being mobile but perhaps slightly bored in the UK, boredom is, however, something a person can influence and control, much more so than mobility.. 

I am the same age as you and with similar mobility problems to yours. I agree with you that the UK is more disabled-friendly than Thailand. But, in addition to mobility v. boredom, I think that another key issue relates to the availability of support mechanisms. Here in Thailand, I have my wife and her family who, I hope, will take care of me in my advancing years, in accordance with the Thai tradition of the younger family members looking after their elders. But no such tradition exists in the UK, of course, and, in any event, I no longer have any close family members living there. So, were I to relocate back to the UK, I could eventually find myself having to shell out a fortune for so-called "professional" care, just like my parents had to do in their final years.

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1 minute ago, OJAS said:

I am the same age as you and with similar mobility problems to yours. I agree with you that the UK is more disabled-friendly than Thailand. But, in addition to mobility v. boredom, I think that another key issue relates to the availability of support mechanisms. Here in Thailand, I have my wife and her family who, I hope, will take care of me in my advancing years, in accordance with the Thai tradition of the younger family members looking after their elders. But no such tradition exists in the UK, of course, and, in any event, I no longer have any close family members living there. So, were I to relocate back to the UK, I could eventually find myself having to shell out a fortune for so-called "professional" care, just like my parents had to do in their final years.

I've had this discussion with my wife several times and she's quite prepared to look after me. I, on the other hand, am not prepared to let her waste substantial parts of her life when she could be off doing far more interesting and useful things. Either way, there's going to be a cost involved, my outlook is that the cost will be lower in the UK than here plus I stand a better chance there of having my wishes adhered to in terms of care in my final years.

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I'm involved with Lanna Care Net, an informal group of expats that assist other expats who have difficulties, usually medical problems in Chiang Mai.  http://www.lannacarenet.org/lessons-learned-at-the-end-of-life/

 

If you look at the page I posted from the LCN website, under "Lesson Two", you'll see links to documents that list the assisted living facilities near Chiang Mai and their monthly costs.  Chiang Mai seems to have better options than other parts of Thailand.  But, all of these facilities are outside the center of town and it's an effort for a resident to come into town to enjoy restaurants or shopping.  It can be done, but I wish there were organized assisted living options right in town, so the residents could easily get to malls and restaurants.

 

I know many western retirees living here who have some degree of a mobility problem.  But, few people come here already disabled.  Usually, they develop the problem after they've been here for time and have had a chance to build their own group of friends and acquaintances who can help or at least put them in touch with potential caregivers.  

 

That being said, foreign retirees who come to rely on assistance from hired caregivers in their home can find themselves very vulnerable to financial exploitation.  Often, they trust a caregiver with their ATM and PIN number to go pay bills and the results can be predictable.  

 

Some retirees have found a good Thai wife and extended family who promise to care for him for the rest of his life at home.  What they don't realize, however, is the difficulty of caring for a large man without special equipment -- the average Thai home isn't handicap friendly.  Also, they usually lack knowledge to cook easy-to-chew and digest food appealing to westerners.  Thai people think that rice porridge is the correct food for old people.

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How do i cope?

Well mate i am fortunate that after my accident we had a bedroom/ bathroom/ kitchen built downstairs, with everything suited to wheelchair height.

I had a carer for nearly 2 years, but she was very unreliable, worked a few weeks, stopped for few weeks.

Now in our area near khonkaen it is around 450/500 baht per day for a helper.

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I know people who have set up good 24/7 care situations in their homes, but it requires employing three people.  At least two working 12 hour shifts and a third working part-time to give the other two some time off.  The primary two are paid at least 10,000 baht/month, actually as high as 15,000 baht/month and get free food when they're working.  

 

The key to making this arrangement work is to have someone "in charge" who can act when one of the caregivers doesn't show up and who is handling bill payment, scheduling medical appointments, supervising meds, etc.  Often this can be a wife, but not always.  

 

There would be no way to get good quality care here in Chiang Mai for the 450-500 baht/day number given by Colinneil.  You can maybe hire a full-time maid for that, but not someone who has skills needed to take care of a handicapped person.  Maybe in KhonKaew, but as he pointed out someone working at that low a wage isn't very reliable.

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I am 78 and still in quite good shape and mobile. Have a wonderful Thai wife (Phuket native, has never ever been in a bar), married now 16 years and expecting more. She took very good care of her grandmother who lived with us until the old lady dies, and tells me she will do same for me, and I believe her. So my answer would be that you find a good Thai woman, maybe even marry her (not really necessary). Easier said than done, but they do exist, I know of goodly number of friends here who same. 

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I am 67 and in good shape and mobile. I was never married or had children in USA so my long-term care plans are definitely here in Thailand. However they do not include finding a 'good' Thai woman to look after me ... not that I don't plan to find Thai women good or otherwise but I do not expect that any Thai woman in a relationship to be my principal care giver.

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44 minutes ago, JLCrab said:

I am 67 and in good shape and mobile. I was never married or had children in USA so my long-term care plans are definitely here in Thailand. However they do not include finding a 'good' Thai woman to look after me ... not that I don't plan to find Thai women good or otherwise but I do not expect that any Thai woman in a relationship to be my principal care giver.

If I ever get singel at that age, I am going to find a nurse who can take care of me, pay her little bit over average wages, rent her a room in my house, and let her take me to massage and other fysioterapy places for my well being. Call in day care in house ;-) 

 

At least she have to keep me alive and happy to keep her job. 

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