A Solution for the "Sandwich Generation" That Still Wants to Retire: Serena Senior Care Opens the First Assisted Living Residence in Baja California

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For many "Boomers" the dream of retirement is now becoming an illusion, with shrinking investment funds and with the new found responsibility of taking care of their parents. The Solution: Retire in Mexico and Bring Mom Along. To take care of your parents Serena Senior Care, recently opened the first Assisted Living Residence in Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico called Casa Harmony.

we would have never gotten this level of service in Florida…I feel like a Queen here

Serena Senior Care opened the First Assisted Living Residence in Baja California, Mexico a solution for many Baby Boomers whose dream of retirement is now becoming an illusion, with shrinking investment funds and with the new found responsibility of taking care of their parents. This double "whammy" in addition to increasing costs of medical care and other living expenses has left many upcoming retirees scratching their heads wondering "when will it be my turn?". Well, the answer is just a few miles away: south of the border.

The global economic crisis has affected the retirement capabilities of many Baby Boomers, in 2007 50 million Americans had 401(k) plans worth $2.5 trillion at the top of the market, which subsequently lost over $1 trillion by October 2008 (even more since then!). Another $1 trillion in IRA assets vanished as well. Now, one in five middle-aged workers has stopped contributing to their retirement plans in the last year, and one in three has considered delaying retirement, according to a new survey by AARP.

In addition to reducing their retirement resources, many of those "Boomers" are now facing a new challenge; taking care of their parents. According to the non-profit Pew Research Center slightly more than one of every eight "baby boomers" are simultaneously raising a child and providing some form of financial assistance to a parent. Demographers call them the "Sandwich Generation." About 20 million Americans are now struggling to juggle caring for their elderly parents while raising their own families.    

For this "Sandwich Generation" prospects of retiring seem slim, as taking care of elder parents who are becoming increasingly frail presents a major challenge. By the year 2020, 12 million older Americans will need long-term care according to AAHSA. Among those turning 65 today, 20 percent will need care for more than five years. Paying for long term care is the biggest challenge, only one in five individuals will be able to afford private long-term care insurance and the national real estate crisis has affected these seniors' ability to sell their homes. In 2005, the average cost of a private room in a U.S. nursing home was $203 per day; the cost of in-home health aides averaged $19 per hour.

The Solution: Retire in Mexico and Bring Mom Along. International Living Magazine, a publication specializing in evaluating overseas retirement destinations, has declared Mexico number one for two years in a row. It offers wonderful ocean front retirement homes or haciendas in colonial towns filled with historic and cultural treasures. Additionally, Mexico offers high quality medical services and low cost of living.

One of the preferred sites within Mexico is Rosarito Beach, which is on the Pacific Ocean just 18 miles south of the Border from San Diego California. It offers wonderful weather, a growing expatriate community of over 20,000 foreign residents, and currently has an inventory of approximately one thousand new ocean front condominiums and homes at a fraction of the price compared to the US. "Retiring in Rosarito, looking at the sunset over the ocean from my own living room sounds great, but what about Mom or Dad?" The answer is "no problema," you can bring them along as well.

To take care of your parents there is a wonderful new service in Rosarito by Serena Senior Care, which provides Assisted Living services in the comfort of your own home or in one of its Group Homes. Their bilingual Customer Service center is available 24 hours through a toll free number, ready to support you in any emergency, supported by a broad network of the top medical services in the region.

In May this year Serena Senior Care celebrated the grand opening of a new, all-inclusive, assisted living facility in Rosarito. The beautiful and spacious residence is exceptionally equipped to host up to 12 residents. In this home, residents will have lodging, all meals, housekeeping, personal care by trained bilingual nurses and caregivers, supervision from a bilingual Geriatrician, social activities, physical excercise program, and many other services. This new service is a great value, with an affordable monthly fee that is about 50% the cost of comparable services in California, but with the distinctive warm hospitality of Mexico.

Jim and Mayuree Wheelock, a couple from Cape Coral, Florida, are now enjoying their stay at Casa Harmony, in Rosarito. Jim, who is 92, had hip surgery before the move and was transported by air ambulance to the Tijuana international Airport. On their arrival an ambulance picked them up and took them to Casa Harmony, where a doctor was waiting for them. The next day medical specialists (a Geriatrician, an Urologist and an Orthopedist) went to the home to checkup on him. Mayuree said, "we would have never gotten this level of service in Florida…I feel like a Queen here". Jim is now visiting the many beach resorts in the area that are just minutes away, and Mayuree has made new friends from the retiree community, and frequently visits local and San Diego shopping centers.

Anyone interested in visiting the facility can request a tour directly at the Serena offices. To get more information, call (661) 612 9090 in Rosarito or toll free from the U.S. at (877) 606 0022, You may also visit their website at http://www.serenaseniorcare.com.

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Flavio Olivieri

Arturo Reynoso
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