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“I don’t think they’re for everyone,” said Thomas Kessler, whose mother suffers from manic depression and lives at a home in Ajijic.
“But basically, they’ve kept our family finances from falling off a cliff.”Residents such as Richard Slater say they are happy in Mexico.
On a recent afternoon, lunch at the Casa de Ancianos consisted of vegetable soup, beet salad, Spanish rice, baked dogfish stuffed with peppers, garlic bread and a choice of four cakes and two Jell-O salads.
Slater’s neighbor doesn’t like Mexican food, so a nursing home employee cooks whatever she wants on a stove beside her bed.
After searching the Internet for other options, she joined a small but steadily growing number of Americans who are moving across the border to nursing homes in Mexico, where the sun is bright and the living is cheap.
Slater came to Lake Chapala four years ago and now lives in his own cottage at the Casa de Ancianos, surrounded by purple bougainvillea and pomegranate trees.
He has plenty of room for his two dogs and has a little patio that he shares with three other American residents.
Others are not quite ready for a nursing home but are exploring options such as in-home health care services, which can provide Mexican nurses at a fraction of U. Retirement homes are relatively new in Mexico, where the aging usually live with family. Some places have suddenly gone bankrupt, forcing American residents to move.
Some Mexican homes have rough edges, such as peeling paint or frayed sofas, that would turn off many Americans.
As millions of baby boomers reach retirement age and U. health care costs soar, Mexican nursing home managers expect more American seniors to head south in coming years.