Long Distance, Long Term Care…


Good morning, ProviderNation.

The AP has a fascinating story on the off-shoring of dementia care. It features the story of the Kuratlis, a Swiss couple struggling over wife Susanna’s Alzheimer’s. Susanna Kuratlis is being treated at a center in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and husband Ulrich isn’t sure whether to take her home or leave her there.

Switzerland offers national health care, but high-end clinics cost up to $15,000 per month, while the Kuratlis pay $3,800 per month in Thailand. Author Denis Gray sees things like this:

“Relatives in Western nations are increasingly confronting Kuratli’s dilemma as the number of Alzheimer’s patients and costs rise, and the supply of qualified nurses and facilities struggles to keep up. Faraway countries are offering cheaper, and to some minds better, care for those suffering from the irreversible loss of memory.

“The nascent trend is unnerving to some experts who say uprooting people with Alzheimer’s will add to their sense of displacement and anxiety, though others say quality of care is more important than location. There’s also some general uneasiness over the idea of sending ailing elderly people abroad: The German press has branded it ‘gerontological colonialism.’”

There are already about 100 Americans getting low-cost dementia care in the Philippines, Gray reports. That’s likely to grow as developers hatch plans to attract more.

In other news, it looks like the VA has done a bang-up job fighting against antibiotic-resistant infections; and Twitter types will talk long term care this week.

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