When I decided to train as a PSW, I experienced the average training offered, and the entry level jobs on offer. I was completely appalled.

The training gave me a lot of opportunity to meet the folks running our nursing homes and group homes. The pace expectations for PSWs in the long-term care homes was soul-killing. I witnessed many acts of negligence that were explained away by those training me.

If I had acted like this with my own mother I could have been charged with Elder Abuse, yet here at the facility it was normal to shove food in someone’s mouth, pull them roughly in and out of the bath, belittle their preferences for staying in bed, etc.

Most of the PSWs disagreed with the standard of care they were being forced to provide. It discourages many of them, which I believe is the reason it has become so hard to find enough PSWs to fill the needs here in Canada.

This brings me to an aging alternative that some Canadians are taking advantage of when they decide to move to a “poorer country”. There, in those poorer places, most of us are relatively rich, rich enough to afford one-0n-one personal support care.


“Should I stay or should I go”

I have listened to many of my friends and acquaintances voice a desire to move to a poorer country for their declining years. One of the prominent reasons given for relocating that both housing and paid caregivers are more affordable than back home.

While this may fix one issue, it doesn’t fix the problem -which is professional caregivers are becoming more difficult to find here in Canada.

Our local and federal governments haven’t cracked this nut and I doubt they will.

It is my opinion that the solution lies in the value we put on the lives and work of caregivers. If we can build our care-giving models around the caregivers needs, we will attract the cream of the crop to the field.


Can you picture yourself in India?

Have you seen movie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel?


Can you picture yourself in Thailand?

Here is an excerpt from
In ageing Thailand, developers race to supply locals and elderly expats

“Not only is Thailand ageing faster than its neighbors, but it is also becoming an increasingly popular retirement option for foreigners attracted by its agreeable climate, low living and health costs and culture of service.

“We will look after them from their waking hours until they go to sleep,” said Boon, chairman of the Thonburi Healthcare Group Pcl. “This group has big spending capacity.”

His Jin Wellbeing County is a ‘medical city’ for Thai and foreign retirees being built across more than two hectares (5 acres) on the outskirts of Bangkok.

The first of nearly 500 housing units being sold in an initial phase are being marketed for nearly $130,000, plus additional fees of 7,000-8,000 baht ($224 – $385) a month for meals and services ranging from fitness sessions to excursions.


Can you picture yourself in Ecuador?

Here is an excerpt from Gringolandia: Lifestyle Migration under Late Capitalism

“Not all those who retire to Cuenca are poor—though certainly a few would fall below the low-income cut-off in the US or Canada. They simply could not afford to age in place without a working income, especially in desirable but rapidly gentrifying urban spaces in cities like Houston, San Francisco, Portland and Toronto. In Cuenca, they can live easily in a city where the average income is about $700 per month, but where many live on much less.”

The ease with which North Americans can relocate their lives to Cuenca and displace lower-income workers smacks of a sort of colonialism most lifestyle migrants eschew and seek to mitigate, escape, or resist. Despite attempts to make amends for their whiteness (almost all are white) and their privilege, they identify with all the advantages of having higher incomes and higher status in a lower-cost and lower-income community.

Their experiences as migrants differ completely from those of lower-income workers trying to find work in the United States or Canada. As these latter are met with an increasingly restrictive and militarized border regime, lifestyle migrants fill out paper work, and are welcomed with full citizenship rights denied to Latin American migrants moving north. Among the benefits they enjoy are access to Ecuador’s public medical system for operations and check-ups, a service Ecuadorians spend a lifetime paying into, but that foreign residents access for only a small fee (about $70 per month at time of writing).