Old, Alone And Stuck In The Philippines

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Posted

Sometimes things happen which make you think about things, Old, alone and in the Philippines. Let me say why I was thinking about this and hope not to bore you all as it's more to do with my thoughts at this moment.

Anyway what started this is last night my 83 year old mum phoned about something but also her news was that she had a bad fall. She was hanging out washing on an extremely hot and windy day and her hat blew off which for whatever reason made her lose her balance and she went down flat on to her back on to the concrete knocking her head hard. She was lucky as her skin is so thin just a touch of a finger causes a bruise and and her skin is so thin it just rips but in this case she escaped mostly with bruises and a huge bump on her head. If she had of passed out I think the heat would have ended her.

 

Now in Aus they have a medical alert system and my mother wears an emergence button thing around her neck, it sends an alert to a monitored place that will immediately call or a machine connected to her landline will allow for someone to speak without the phone to try to see if she can talk back and if not they call appointed phone numbers such as my sister or brother, if they do not pick up then an ambulance and police are dispatched. 

 

So trying not to drag this out but because she was dazed and perhaps her age she forgot that she had the button to press and eventually managed to get up and go inside to call my sister who took her to hospital.

 

She is OK.

 

Now in the Philippines most expats will think that their wife or partner will be there forever in their old age which I hope would be the case but if that person found themselves without anyone, old and vulnerable then what happens?

 

I will go back to a former friend and mine and a dispute one day which I think might have been in the moderators private forum but not sure but the situation was that an American who was living in Cebu had ran out of money, his power was disconnected and things were obviously getting bad. The reason it got to that point is this guy went out every night and took home a lady from the bars; I guess to watch TV but in the end he was broke.

My comment about this situation got me blasted as what I said was, "well he will have to go back to the states". To me that seemed logical but a couple of others did not think my point of view was right and said to me, "You heartless bastard! "

 

I don't think so but what if this was you, you're now old and broke, your wife died before you and her family wants no more to do with you. In your home country there's no one left to help you out so what are you going to do? Many live month to month on pensions and no one plans for a life changing event that could lead to being alone and desperate or even in a situation your health is so bad you have no hope of even getting another person's attention to your plight. 

 

Has anyone ever thought about this and what could be done to minimise the risk of ending up alone and in dire straits? 

Good subject. As I get older I actually think about this a lot. Since I am a USA veteran, my plan B is a nice nursing home by the Columbia River in Oregon. :)

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To be blunt, this is why Filipinos, like other East Asians, always put their family first. If the family will not support you, you will die.

 

I watched my ex's grandfather decline from a much respected pillar of the community and Elder of the Iglesia ni Cristo as Alzheimer's Disease took a hold on him. His personality changed; from being kind and thoughtful he started accusing his wife of forty years of "having affairs behind his back" and as this was Alzheimer's not only were these allegations ludicrous but they were made in public at the top of his voice. He had falls, and lost the ability to walk. His wife, who was of course of a similar age, and his unmarried daughter continued to care for him but of course the standard of care was not what you would get in a care home (such as his grand daughter works for in the UK!). He was left to himself for most of the day, fed, bathed, etc but basically ignored, until he died.

 

Now, suppose that had been me - as the Alzheimer's kicked in I would have behaved in a similarly absurd way, but I would probably have reverted to English and the family would lose interest in what I was saying even faster. What happens at the point where, in Australia or the UK, a Power of Attorney would be needed to collect a pension, etc?    

 

I have just started corresponding on Messenger with a Brit married to a Filipina who is serving a long jail sentence in New Bilibid Prison for illegal recruitment (the common story of an embittered ex employee going to the authorities with a story - the rights and wrongs of it I do not know) and the reason I mention this is that his wife's family have effectively cut him off - he no longer gets visits from them (his wife is imprisoned as well but separately of course) and his children may be brought to see him at Christmas if he pays the fares.

 

It is rather easy to imagine a situation in which one's wife's family - the basic support network - cut one off, particularly if the funds no longer flow, for whatever reason.     

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Posted
Has anyone ever thought about this and what could be done to minimise the risk of ending up alone and in dire straits?

 

A good, important and relevant topic (especially for a lot of members). but one which is avoided. The odds are that those with younger partners will have little to worry about, but accidents do happen.

 

For myself, I take a more practical view point. If my wife should pass before me as long as I still have "some" capacities left I am not to worried really. I am relatively confident that a relative of some sort would be able to step in and change my diapers lol. Once I reach the point that I could no longer drive or go to the bank I would be able to set up a mechanism that they would be able to access funds.

 

My view is that it would be in their best interests to keep me breathing. Once that stops, so does the pension.

 

Will I be taken advantage of in my dotage? Oh you bet. But at that stage of life my needs will probably be very minimal, and as the saying goes "you can't take it with you"

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I will go back to a former friend and mine and a dispute one day which I think might have been in the moderators private forum but not sure but the situation was that an American who was living in Cebu had ran out of money, his power was disconnected and things were obviously getting bad. The reason it got to that point is this guy went out every night and took home a lady from the bars; I guess to watch TV but in the end he was broke. My comment about this situation got me blasted as what I said was, "well he will have to go back to the states". To me that seemed logical but a couple of others did not think my point of view was right and said to me, "You heartless bastard! "
Not odd he ran out of money, taking home a lady from bar every night :mocking:     If he had concentrated at ONE, he perhaps wouldn't be broke... 
His wife, who was of course of a similar age, and his unmarried daughter continued to care for him but of course the standard of care was not what you would get in a care home (such as his grand daughter works for in the UK!). He was left to himself for most of the day, fed, bathed, etc but basically ignored, until he died.
As in most WESTERN caretaking places then  :mocking:     That's one of the reasons I want to move to Phils...
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My view is that it would be in their best interests to keep me breathing. Once that stops, so does the pension

 

I have 3 older kids all doing well. They have responded before and I will assume in a crisis they will react in some way.

 

Gina will be there, obviously as long as the pension comes in, and hopefully out of love. My Filipino kids will be around, but who knows they might have there own problems.

 

If I'm having dementia, Alzheimer's, I wont know much anyway. It's not something I am worried about.

 

As for going to bars and depleting all my money, I assume a few of us have tried that. It has it's moments, but come on, who does that at age 70 or above. You do it for a while and move on. I really can't concern myself with someone who has nothing to go back to, if necessary I would address it to the Embassy or maybe a congressman, but I can't see myself in that situation.

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I'm curious to know if there are decent managed care facilities in the Philippines? I believe I saw something about that being a growth industry there, and in Mexico. My mother just celebrated her 89th birthday in one such facility in Boulder, Colorado. It's pricey, but she has good company, great food, and excellent medical care, if she needs it.

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I'm curious to know if there are decent managed care facilities in the Philippines? I believe I saw something about that being a growth industry there, and in Mexico. My mother just celebrated her 89th birthday in one such facility in Boulder, Colorado. It's pricey, but she has good company, great food, and excellent medical care, if she needs it.

 

There are care homes, and an industry is starting to develop, built really around returning Fil-Ams.  

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I'm curious to know if there are decent managed care facilities in the Philippines? I believe I saw something about that being a growth industry there, and in Mexico. My mother just celebrated her 89th birthday in one such facility in Boulder, Colorado. It's pricey, but she has good company, great food, and excellent medical care, if she needs it.

JJReyes talked about there are plans for such in Talisay, Negros, including good health care. with customer target group being foreigners, who want good care cheaper than in their home country.

(He compared to USA. In Sweden it's much subsidiced from taxes, but many places are more storage than good caretaking. It's feeding, cleaning and health care, but almost nothing for feelings and mind... The doctor subscribed my 85 year old grandfather to stay in such place two months to recover after serious foot break after being hit by a car, but he left the second day and went home to take care of himself, couldn't stand to be there any longer...   :)

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The doctor subscribed my 85 year old grandfather to stay in such place two months to recover after serious foot break after being hit by a car, but he left the second day and went home to take care of himself, couldn't stand to be there any longer

Yikes! I'm researching managed care for my old age, not warehousing! I'm thrilled that Mom has a lovely place to be, with all the activities she wants, and the privacy she needs.

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