Nursing Homes in Thailand



island motivate destination
care dementia senior citizen
cope assistance spend/spent/spent (2)
nurse senior (2) nursing home
join resident pensioner
career vacation flight attendant
realize palm (2) attend (2)
upset bamboo homesick
carer cover (2) bus shelter
ratio therapy unheard of
key (2) concept element (2)
pride in need predominantly
regard staff (2) couple (2)
salary patient bratwurst
suffer dementia comfortable
transit condition insurance
hail (2) heavenly atmosphere (2)
taste decision sunset (2)


Video: Nursing Home in Thailand



This beach on Phuket is popular tourist destination on Thailand’s largest island. While most visitors return home after a couple of weeks, most of these European pensioners are here to stay.

These senior citizens are spending their sunset years under the palm trees at this nursing home. It’s called Banchua Dole, which means “house of help and care”.

Sonya of Switzerland has joined other residents for breakfast.

Sonya, who has dementia, has lived here for two years.

Journalist: “And what are you doing here?”
Sonya, Banchua Dole Resident: “I’m on vacation.”
Journalist: “That’s nice.”

Sonya had a career as a flight attendant. Thailand is her final stop — but she doesn’t realize it.

Journalist: “But you live here now?”
Sonya: “Yes, but just for a few days.”

Sonya’s caregiver, Kan, helps her cope with life far from home.

Kan, Caregiver: “They have dementia; they can’t remember things. So we tell them they’re on vacation here, so they don’t get upset.”

When Sonya does get homesick, she can come and sit in this bamboo bus shelter, complete with transit maps from far-away Switzerland. Sonya is happy to sit here and wait for the bus . . . even though it never arrives.

It costs between seventeen-hundred (€1,700) and three-thousand (€3,000) euros a month to stay here.

Fifty-four (54) carers look after around twenty-two residents, an unheard of ratio in many European countries.

Physical therapy is a key element in daily life here.

The concept of caregiving is well-regarded in this predominantly Buddhist country, which prides itself in helping people in need.

Another motivator for staff here is a good salary: between two-hundred-ninety and six-hundred-fifty euros a month.

Helga hails from Germany’s Rhineland. Her son Reiner has come for a visit. Helga, who also suffers from dementia, says she feels comfortable here.

Journalist: “What’s your favorite food?”
Helga: “A good bratwurst! I wouldn’t mind that.”

Reiner was unhappy with elderly care conditions in Germany. But Helga’s health insurance wouldn’t cover care here. So he had to sell her house to finance it.

Reiner, Helga’s Son: “There were about twenty patients for each caregiver. The staff were very nice to the seniors and the atmosphere was good.

But patients have to wait twenty-minutes in the bathroom for assistance. There’s just not enough staff there.”

Another peaceful day on the beach — complete with German sausage, a little taste of home, some nine-thousand (9,000) kilometers away. Sending elders far from home is a hard decision.

But good care and a heavenly setting makes it easier for everyone involved.


*     *     *     *     *     *     *



1. The main industry on Phuket, Thailand is elderly care services. True or false?

2. Will the European seniors at the nursing homes eventually return to Europe?

3. What is a common ailment among the elderly residents? What do they think?

4. Are the nursing home fees very cheap, fairly cheap, in the middle, quite expensive or very expensive?

5. In Thailand, the ratio of patients to caregivers is ten to one. Is this right or wrong? Is it the same in Europe?

6. Do the patients only sit and watch TV all day long?

7. Is Thai culture family and community oriented or individualistic?

8. The patients only eat Thai cuisine. Is this correct or incorrect?
A. Are nursing homes or senior centers or retirement communities common in your city or country? What happens to people after they retire?

B. Do some old people from your country move abroad after they retire?

C. Foreign pensioners move to my country. Yes or no?

D. Is there a demand (need) for caregivers? Who provides care? Who works as caregivers?

E. What might happen in the future?

Comments are closed.