Panama eldercare and senior care is a topic that might cross the mind of retirees looking to become expats in popular places like Boquete, Panama or other spots in this retirement-friendly country. According to one source, between 20,000 and 30,000 Americans and Canadians live in Panama. If you’re hoping to be one of them, you might be wondering about eldercare should you need it, whether for yourself or any loved ones going with you.
Related article: Eldercare and Assisted Living in Mexico for Expats
It’s one thing to retiree abroad, and another to grow old abroad. Before you pick your destination, think about what that means. This Panama eldercare post is one in our series looking at eldercare in other countries.
The challenge that expats will find with eldercare in Panama is that there are few assisted living or nursing homes. Latin American culture is entirely different. When someone gets so old they need assistance, family members take care of them. Nursing homes are more of a foreign concept, and those that do exist…
Nursing Homes in Panama
Live and Invest Overseas editor, Rebecca Tyre, states:
From the research I’ve done, most of the nursing homes in Panama qualify as sad. Frankly, you wouldn’t want to put a family member in one of them.
The good news is that those assisted living homes that do exist are “home-oriented” with fewer residents than what you might expect in the states. Prices are also considerably less, ranging from $1,600 to $3,000 per month, depending on location and shared or private rooms. The more rural the location, however, the harder it is to find one.
At-Home Panamanian Caregiver Help
At-home help is available – and far more common. This may work particularly well for expats who are also caring for loved ones in their new country. At-home help can be hired for $300-$400 per month, and these are sometimes nurses. Expect to pay in the area of $4.00 an hour for homemaker services, and $25-$45 a day for adult day care programs.
Related article: Costa Rica Eldercare and Assisted Living for Expats
Spanish Language Barrier
The language barrier also needs to be considered with senior care in Panama. Even if you, as the expat, can speak Spanish, what if your loved one is there with you and can’t? Will he/she be able to communicate with at-home help if you’re not around? There is not only a language barrier here, but a cultural one as well, contributing to potential senior loneliness.
Professional Panama Resource
There aren’t many like them, and I am by no means endorsing them, but one agency that might be of help (either directly or locating additional help) is Pacifico Healthcare. Their stated services include chronic pain management, dementia care, falls prevention training, caregiver training, and more.
Do you have experience with eldercare in Panama? I’d love to hear what others have found.
Following are some books that many have found helpful to inform decision making regarding life abroad in Panama:
- The New Escape to Paradise
- The Boquete (Not for Tourists!) Handbook
- Live and Retire in Panama: Your Complete Reference Guide for Making the Decision and Making the Move