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David Btesh of Pacific Realty / Pacific Developers – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Panamanian old man – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingProviding care for older people would be a good business to get into in Panama. Panama is missing old people’s homes because in Latin America, we don’t send our old people into old people’s homes. We take care of them ourselves.  Children take care of their grandmother and grandfather and their mother and their father. We do not send them to old people’s homes. This is a taboo.
 
As a result, we do have good care but not in what in the US you would consider a retirement home. We do, however, have qualified nurses who come to the house during the day to provide care.  In the case of my mother, we provided two nurses, 24 hours a day.  They would sleep, and eat, and feed, and dress, and take of my mother.  They can give you and IV, change your diapers, follow the instructions of the doctor and give medicines. My mom was 106, and her assistant would talk to her and would read her a book. If you are in your home with your nurse taking care of your family, you’re watching the care being provided. That’s the difference between an old age home versus the kids taking care of their parents in their home or in the parent’s home next door.  The cost for the same care today would be about US $1,100 or $1,200 a month.  
Mirhanna Sandoya of Lucero Homes Golf & Country Club – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The homes for the married couples, circa 1912 Panama Canal, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThere are lots of good caregivers in Panama.  Most of them licensed nurses.
 
A good caregiver in Panama can cost around US $800 per month at minimum, depending on the type of care that you need. In Panama, we have several ranges of salary for the minimum wage, depending on what you do. For that type of job, I would say it would start from US $800.
 
(The homes for the married couples, circa 1912 Panama Canal, Panama, pictured.)
 
MANUEL GRANADOS  of MEDICAL SERVICE PANAMA, S.A. (MS PANAMA, S.A.) – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
nurse in Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingI don’t know if there is a company or business that offers that kind of service in Panama. What I know for sure is if you have a sick relative, sometimes you look out for a nurse to hire to take care of your relative.
 
What most people do is to hire a nurse who would be a well-trained nurse from a hospital.
 
There are no old age homes here in Panama. We don’t have assisted living or long term insurance here in Panama that I’m aware of, so when people get old, they will stay with their family.
 
(Nurse in Panama, pictured.)
Lourdes Townshend of Multimodal  & Logistic Transports Magazine – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Seniors in Panamá

The current wave of foreigners moving to Panamá in search of a better quality of life at a lower cost of living from places like the United States started about ten years ago.  Before that, it was a lot easier to get live-in domestic help such as maids and gardeners, as well as technical handymen, electricians, plumbers, etc., at a great price.

Year after year, the demand for these services increased, due the great quantity of expats arriving for different reasons, including the worldwide economical crisis that encouraged retirees to seek offshore destinations in order to live a peaceful and affordable life.   For these people, Panamá has a lot to offer.  Panamá was booming.

Now, in 2015, prices have increased a lot, but still remain enviously low, compared to certain countries such as the US and Canada, in which caregiver prices are extremely high.

Some personal experiences:

While living in Florida in 1996, we needed to place my mother into a nursing home for a while, because she was experiencing a major medical condition.  It was certainly not a good or pleasant experience, even thought all our family was constantly at her side, giving her constant love and bringing her the things she needed or feeding her. The price was extremely high.

Back in Panamá, in 2001, we placed my mother-in-law for a month into a nursing home in Altos del Golf (a very nice area of the city) while we traveled to visit our children.  It was a very home-oriented place, and extremely clean.  The price was very a very modest US $800.00 month.

It had all the facilities a person might need, with pleasant and trained people.  A doctor was available, if needed.  The home was not as sophisticated as one in the United States, but it has more personal care and love.

In Panamá, when both our in-laws reached their care years in 1999 through 2002, we hired two full time live-in maids, at that time with good salary of $250.00 each, and all live in expenses covered, including medical, with my husband and me living next door, available at all times, and supervising.   That really did not work, as they needed constant supervision.

Finally, when only one in- law alive, I moved in and took care of her by myself 24/7 with help for cooking and cleaning until her death, eight months later.

This tells you that every situation is unique, and based on all those experiences, I can strongly suggest that you get help.  You can still get good help in Panamá, even though salaries have been going up a lot, but still, it is much less than other places, like the United States.

Try to get people from the "interior" (you can still mold them; they are simple and innocent).   If a parent can live with you, it is much better.  You will have the great opportunity to honor them until their last minute.  Is so rewarding to have those memories.

Nursing homes in Panamá are booming, especially during the last 10 years, due to more and more couples having to work demanding hours.  You can find nursing homes in Altos del Golf, Clayton, El Carmen, Betania, San Francisco, and other places.

Prices have gone up over the years, but are very affordable, maybe between $800 (Betania) and $3,000 per month, all included.  All are small and "home-oriented” with people ready to please you and with nutritional food, as in Panamá you are blessed to get fresh fruits and vegetables at extraordinarily good prices.

If you live in the "interior", things are a lot easier, but as far as I know, there are no nursing homes as yet.  I'm sure they will be there soon.

We do not have yet "hospice" facilities, which I would find helpful.  Hospitals take this place for now.

In seeking live-in help, do your research, as there are many foreign ladies who charge way more than Panamanians.   And a last piece of advice: get good references for anyone you hire.  If possible, go to your attorney, accountant, embassy or any other institution of your choice that you trust, and get the as much information as you can on this person, as well as your contract.  Be very specific what they are going to do, and the benefits they will receive.  Make sure to include your labor requirements.  I´ve heard many stories of people who did not do this, and regretted it later.
 
Jennifer Moloney Jones of The Visitor – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Maids and caregivers that can help you do not cost quite so much here in Panama. If you need a caregiver or a nurse at home, there is a society here in Panama that can help you with that, which is run by a friend of mine.
 
What they do is to buddy people together, so that should something happen to you, you can contact your buddy, who knows what your wishes are, and who to contact in your family, etc. Your buddy is like a substitute family member for you here in Panama. They can do all the running around for you and they can contact anybody you want to be contacted, should the worst happen. The services go as far as you need it to. That society is running for about a year and it has been very useful for retirees who do not have any close family members nearby.
 
There are also agencies here in Panama that you can contact that can give you qualified caregivers. The US embassy certainly has a list of doctors and agencies that they recommend. The British embassy does not do that.
Gonzalo de la Guardia of Panasurance – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Here in Panama, people commonly get someone to take care of the elderly, but they do not necessarily have to be a medical person. These are just people who are there to take care of our elderly and we pay them about US $300 to $400 per month.
 
If you need specialized care from a paramedic or someone with similar credentials, the charge is by the hour.  You can strike a deal with the person, which would generally be around $20 or $30 per hour.
 
There are also a couple of old age homes in Panama City. There aren’t many, but there are a couple. I’m guessing the price would be around $2,000 per month or so.
Robert Adams of Retirement Wave – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
If you hire a nurse here in Panama to come in during the day or actually live in for 24 hours, you’re probably going to pay in the range of US $500 to $1,000 a month.  The price will depend on where you are living.  The countryside would be less expensive and the city would be more expensive.  It also depends on whether your caregiver is staying with you full time and you have to supply them with a place to sleep and so on.
 
In the past, I was responsible for the affairs of my parents in the US, where I paid a fortune for that kind of caregiving. This was before I moved here to Panama and I didn’t have the opportunity to bring my mother down here, so I can’t tell you the exact cost here. But I know now that it would have cost so much less if I had my mom here with a caregiver than to have her in a very large institutionalized situation up in the north where they charge thousands of dollars every month. It was very, very expensive. I’m sure other people in this position understand what I mean.
 
They have very few small nursing homes here in Panama City. We’ll probably have some more in the years to come. Panama is a family-oriented society in which you keep your parents with you as long as you can and you’d hire someone to take care of them in the house. When your parents get to a point that they need to be hospitalized, they go to a hospital, so nursing homes simply don’t exist.
 
Now with increased incomes, a lot more people are traveling and there is now starting to be a demand in Panama for homes for the elderly who don’t have to be hospitalized yet, but require a great deal of care. Those with more income are beginning to look for that alternative. There are a handful of places here that provide that now but this should probably grow into a sizable institution in five years.  It’s something that has attracted growing interest, but it’s just getting started here.
Antonio Cheng – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The cost to have a caregiver in Panama varies. If you get a retired nurse or a certified nurse, the rate is around US $800 per month. They are really good caregivers, since they are retired nurses. There are also caregivers who are not certified, but who went through some training and they charge a bit less, around $500 or $600 per month.
 
Caregivers here in Panama do not usually live in the house of the people they care for, but if you want them to be a full-time, live-in caregiver, you can always negotiate with them.
Terry Bradford of Origen Real Estate Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account

Many expats who come to Panama also bring their mothers or their fathers who are about 80 or 90 years old. They do that because the caregiving here in Panama is phenomenal. You will have a live-in caregiver who is very well trained, very loving, and bilingual.

There are also nursing homes here. One of our friends was in assisted living for a while because he had a stroke. Panama has all the assistance that old people need just as there is in the States, but the cost is significantly less than it is in the States.

 

David Whittington of Tucan Golf Club and Resort – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
From what I can see from advertisements in websites here in Panama, you can get a qualified, full-time live-in nurse as a caregiver to provide assistance for an older person in Panama for US $400 to $600 / month.
 
The quantity of nursing homes in Panama that a North American would consider acceptable is negligible.  Most Panamanians, if they could afford it, would hire someone to come to the house to look after their parents.
 
I believe that, in the future, the demand for nursing homes in Panama will rise, because the middle class in Panama is growing in size and affluence.  
Robert Adams of Retirement Wave – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Presented with permission from Bob Adams of Retirement Wave.
 
 
As I considered my situation when I would get older, an item that concerned me was that it’s so expensive to get anyone to take care of you when you’re up in the US.  (I’m sure it’s true of most of your nations, too, if you’re not American.) It’s just not easy and you don’t get people who care very much about the job they’re doing.  Well here in Panama, to have someone come in once in a while or even to live with you if need be, even a nurse, is so much cheaper.
 
If you need that type of assistance, you’re going to get it here in Panama a lot less expensively than you are going to elsewhere, and if it’s paid for by your government that’s fine. The people I’ve met and worked with down here in Panama have a much greater respect for old age than they do up north any more, and the women and men who help people here see this as a very respectable way to make a living, and they’re happy to be doing it.  They’re not just doing it because they can’t find any other job.  It’s a different attitude, it’s a different expense level and it’s a heck of a lot more comfortable.  So although I could find that in many other places, I found it here in Panama.  It wasn’t the only reason for my coming here, but it was one of the many reasons or one of the many factors that I kept in the back of my mind when considering living overseas.
 
Col Davis Stevenson RET of Condor Tours & Travel, Inc – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Panama has many excellent doctors in private practice as well as with the major hospitals in country. A visit to a doctor is very reasonable.  There are many clinics in the city as well as in the suburbs of Panama City.
 
Several years ago I came down with a terrible prostate infection that caused me to be hospitalized for a couple of days and the bill was a little over $1,000, which I put on my AMEX card and billed Tricare upon my return home.
 
The usual charge for a visit to the doctor is between $10  and $15. Many of the doctors in Panama have been trained in the USA.

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