Elderly Care in Thailand




care elderly destination
horror extremely draw/drew/drawn (2)
abuse force (3) not to mention
cost neglect rise/rose/risen
realize look for drive/drove/driven
idiot decision Alzheimer
follow reunion fly/flew/flown
trouble look at (2) see/saw/seen
sure advantage run/ran/run (2)
villa diagnose devastating
agree promise cry/cried (2)
scared alternative good/better/best
motion apparent bring/brought/brought
disease dispose slow motion
option suffer (2) bad/worse/worst
respect deserve tell/told/told
patient long way find/found/found
unable sit down come/came/come
in case destined son-in-law
local butterfly revolution (2)
survive dementia worry/worried
key (2) sit/sat/sat give/gave/given (2)
go out way (2) bring back
luckily remember find/found/found
facility couple (2) bittersweet
ward high-end upbringing
smell sign (3) feel/felt/felt
fear detergent institution
sterile live out leave/left/left
resort reaction environment (2)
cheap believe (2) hear/heard/heard
soldier mention bring up (3)
arrive integrate forget/forgot/forgotten
boat excited meet/met/met
army remember all over (3)
used to shape (2) Middle-East
realize transform buy/bought/bought
cancer look after ambulance
throat staff (2) subject (3)
treat bitter (2) passionate
bit (2) lock out make a difference
cost far away Michelin-Starred
lock up enjoyable make/made/made


Video (Watch the first 6, 8, 9 or 11 min)




With its tropical climate, natural beauty and traditional culture, Thailand has long been a popular tourist destination.

But now there’s another reason drawing people here: a quiet revolution in caring for the elderly.

: “The care system for elderly people in Europe is not working anymore and it’s going to be a big big problem.”

In the West, horror stories of abuse and neglect in care homes, not to mention rising costs, are driving families to look for alternatives, forcing many to make difficult decisions.

Walter Glor, Husband of Resident: “I got even letters from school friends of my wife telling me I’m an idiot to bring her to dispose her here.

101 East follows those who send their loved ones across the world for their final years.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

It’s been a year since Walter Glor saw his wife Maya he and his daughter Tanya have flown more than 13 hours from their home in Switzerland to see her.

But it’s a bittersweet reunion: Maya is not sure who they are.

Maya was just 50 and running a Michelin-starred restaurant with her husband when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s nine years ago — it was devastating for the family.

Walter Glor, Husband of Resident: “She knew what what’s coming and she was crying every morning you know.

And one morning I remember I said to Maya, “You know I promise you one thing: I will always do the best for you. Always. Not for me, not for anybody else. Just for you. And she was kissing me and saying thank you so much.

Journalist: “Was she scared? Were you scared?”
Walter Glor, Husband of Resident: “I was scared; she was scared.”

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

Maya’s home is now a villa at the Bon Kamlon Chai aged care center in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Her family brought her here two years ago, when it became apparent she needed 24-hour care.

Walter Glor, Husband of Resident: “This has bee going on for 10 years and is slowly taking her apart from me, slowly, slowly. This is like saying goodbye in slow motion. And that is the hard part.

The disease now for us is worse — in the beginning it was bad for her, very bad for her, because she realized what happened.

But now it’s for us it’s for us, it’s very hard.”

Walter says bringing Maya here was the best option for her.

But back in Switzerland, not everyone agrees.

Walter Glor, Husband of Resident: “Yeah well I got even letters from school friends of of my wife telling me I’m an idiot to bring her to dispose her here. Well it’s uh it’s not nice, but these people don’t know anything they have never even looked for half an hour in the internet what really happened with Alzheimer’s patients.

And of course a lot of people talk and he brings her to Thailand to get rid of her or whatever.

The main reason was where is the best place for Maya and we all agreed this is this place here we couldn’t find anything better. So I think she deserves to be the best place in the world.”

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

Mary Gibbens is also a long way from home.

Walter Glor, Husband of Resident: “Where do you came from?”
Mary Gibbens, Resident: “Me? I come from . . . wait a minute . . .
Visitor: “From England or from America?
Mary Gibbens: “Oh I’ve been in the America . . I want to sit down now; it’s too hot.”

Unsure of where she is and unable to remember where she’s been, Mary is also destined to live out her days in northern Thailand, cared for 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Today she’s visiting a local butterfly park.

Mary suffers from dementia. Her family brought her here from the UK almost three years ago.

Michael Gibbens, Son: “We were worried about the gas fire. We had to give keys to all the neighbors in case she got locked out of the house, which happened a few times. Yeah she got locked out. She would you should go out in the evenings but a couple of times and you know luckily the neighbors found her and brought her back into the house.”

Her son Michael and daughter-in-law Emily looked at care homes in the UK.

Michael Gibbens, Son: “We did take her to a care home in Surrey to have a look. It was an extremely nice high-end facility . . .

But it was a facility; it was like a hospital ward: the rooms were very nice — but they were small and there was a hospital beds. You’ve got the hospital signs up the exit signs.

You have that feeling the smell of of detergent and institution and a couple of guests asked us if we could help them leave.”

They feared Mary wouldn’t survive in such a sterile environment.

Then they heard about a care resort in Thailand.

Journalist: “What was Mary’s reaction when you brought up the subject of perhaps going to Thailand?”
Michael Gibbens, Son: “Of course as soon as we mentioned it to her, and we showed her the pictures, and the resorts. and she said it’s interesting — she was excited.”

Mary might now be far away, but Michael makes sure she’s not forgotten.

Michael Gibbens, Son: “So this is the picture of the day that granny arrived in England from the Middle East on the boat.”

Born in Palestine the daughter of a British soldier, Mary later met and married an army officer herself.

She lived all over the world Cyprus, Malaya, Singapore, Hong Kong.

Journalist: “So she really had this international upbringing?”
Michael Gibbens, Son: “She did yeah. I think that helped shape her: she needed to be someone that could go into a new school, into a new community and sort of integrate very quickly, She’s used to living in different parts of the world.”

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

Peter Brown is a British hotelier who bought this holiday resort 11 years ago. He transformed part of it into a dementia care facility after realizing how badly his mother was looked after back home in the UK.

Peter Brown, Care Facility Owner: “I went to visit my mother in an English care resort, and within 15 minutes I’d called the ambulance and she went to hospital for three months.”
Journalist: “What happened?”
Peter Brown, Care Facility Owner: “She got cancer of the throat, but she was dying in a care resort and nobody was doing anything about it.

It’s not just at that one place; it’s the same philosophy everywhere else: not enough care staff; after six o’clock at night, no care staff — you’re on your own if you have trouble ever six clock at night.

I passionately believe that care helps people have a better life. It’s not about how long you’re going to live it’s how much you can enjoy the years you’ve got left.

And if you take a disease like dementia you’ve probably got at least eight years to live. So it becomes quite important that those eight years are quite enjoyable not locked in a room treated like a child.

So I wanted to do things a little bit differently. I couldn’t do what I want to do in the UK because of the cost of staffing. So Thailand has the advantage of being cheaper. It also has an advantage of the Asian respect for the elderly it makes a big difference.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *


Thailand. Visitors come to Thailand to ski, snowboard and ice-skate. Thailand has many ski resorts. True or false?

Myanmar. Do all health care providers in the UK and Europe provide very professional services?

Vietnam. Back in Switzerland, did Maya work in banking, a watch factory, cheese farm or chocolate plant? Did she begin having mental illness after she retired?

Cambodia, Laos. The entire Glor family now lives in Thailand because they love the weather, food, nature and culture. Is this right or wrong?

Malaysia. In Switzerland, did everyone encourage Walter to send his wife to Thailand?

Indonesia. Maya and Mary know where they are. They know their family members. Did Mary spend her entire life as a homemaker (housewife) in the UK?

Philippines. The care centers and facilities in the UK are exactly the same as the care resorts of Thailand. Is this correct or incorrect?

Bangladesh. Who is Peter Brown? Is he a psychiatrist or gerontologist? Is he only interested in money and profits?
Nepal. Are there care homes, care centers, care facilities, nursing homes in your town, city, country?

Who works there? Is there a shortage of healthcare professionals?

Bhutan, Sikkim. What happens to people when they get old?

Sri Lanka. I would like to live in Thailand. My friends and I would like to visit and vacation in Thailand. Yes or no?

China. What might happen in the future?

Korea, Japan. What could or should people, businesses, governments do?

Comments are closed.