Unique and Much Needed Services for Retirees in Baja California; To Ensure Continued Enjoyment of Retirement, Peace of Mind and Quality of Life

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Serena Senior Care, a leading Assisted Living and health management services company in Baja California Mexico, announces new services that allow American retirees living in Baja to fully enjoy their retirement, giving them peace of mind and quality of life. Expressed in their own words, customers of Serena share their satisfaction and the benefits they enjoy. Also learn about how this services help prepare retirees for when they pass away, making arrangements that will relief their loved ones from much grief.

Serena Senior Care, a leading Assisted Living and health management services company in Baja California Mexico, announces new services that allow American retirees living in Baja to fully enjoy their retirement, giving them peace of mind and quality of life. Expressed in their own words, customers of Serena share their satisfaction and the benefits they enjoy. Also learn about how this services help prepare retirees for when they pass away, making arrangements that will relief their loved ones from much grief.

Serena Senior Care opened its doors in spring of this year offering high quality assisted living, health management, and property care services in the Rosarito Beach area of Baja California, Mexico.

Don't wait until it is to late! Many retirees from the United States, Canada and other parts of the world have been enjoying their retirement in Rosarito for years. Some have been here for over 20 years and as they age they have more difficulty dealing with normal daily activities. Entering in to these later stages in life may also require putting more attention to your health and being more proactive about taking care of yourself.

Some people choose to ignore these realities and don't take any action, slowly losing the quality of life they used to enjoy. But others take action, and decide to keep enjoying life and not just surviving it. A good example is Peter Fowler, who will be 85 this winter. He moved to Rosarito four years ago and was enjoying life, and then he started to have some health problems and realized he needed help. Peter hired a caregiver, Gabriela, from Serena Senior Care and his quality of life increased. He is now enjoying his retirement again, "It was like a ton of bricks was lifted off my back," says Peter. "Gabriela still comes by and simply makes life easy for me, in spite of my physical restrictions. We're like family," added Peter.

Other times our loved ones need help and we become their caregivers, a task that takes its toll as time goes by. In these cases family caregivers need a break. For example, Virginia Anderson has lived in Rosarito for over 16 years and has been taking care of her husband after he become ill over ten years ago. Today Virginia has contracted a nurse from Serena Senior Care for one or two days per week giving her the opportunity to go out and do the things she enjoys, such as going to religious services and visiting with friends. "I am very pleased with the care my husband is getting when the caregiver comes to give me a day off. My husband likes the nurse very much and she seems to like him. Even though he can't speak they seem to know what each other is saying" says Virginia.

With the commitment to continually improve their services Serena Senior Care has announced new products that will undoubtedly become valuable resources to many. One of the services that many people have been asking for is an all inclusive assisted living facility, which is now a reality. Serena has now available a beautiful residence that is exceptionally equipped ready to host up to 15 residents. In this home, residents will have lodging, all meals, housekeeping, personal care by trained nurses and caregivers, supervision from a Geriatrician, social activities, physical therapy, 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. Anyone interested in visiting the facility can RSVP for a tour directly at the Serena offices calling (661) 612 9090, or may go to their Open House on December 4th. "Nobody knows when the sky will fall, so knowing that Casa Harmony is available now, or for my final years, makes me feel safe and secure. I have peace of mind. Serena Senior Care has been good to me" said Peter Fowler.

Since Serena Senior Care started they have demonstrated their commitment to becoming a true resource and a solutions provider for retirees in the region. They organized the first Health Fair focused on foreign residents and they launched the Serena Full Assistance Card.

Other services now offered by Serena Senior Care are TLC and a Preventive Maintenance Policy. TLC stands for "Tender Loving CALLS", a daily friendly call in English to check up on you and make sure everything is ok, or to make arrangements if you need something. This is a wonderful and simple service for those that live alone and want peace of mind that someone is looking out for them in case anything happens. The preventive maintenance program offers an inspection of your home to make sure that all the pluming, including gas, and electrical installations are working properly; to make sure all doors and windows work, and that there are no roof leaks. The inspections are done by trained technicians every 3 months. This is a perfect solution for those that don't live permanently here or that are not the do-it-yourself type. If something needs repairs, Serena Senior Care can take care of it!

The Serena Full Assistance Card has brought great relief to those living in Baja. One of their main concerns and un resolved issues, is what happens if and when you die in Mexico. With the Full Assistance Card this issue has been resolved. Take the story of
Karla Kirkwood and Mary Mcgrath who were retired American ladies living in Rosarito. Both had terminal diseases and both lived alone. They never met each other, but the way their mortal remains were dealt with should be a lesson for any foreigner living in Mexico.

Karla Kirkwood was a resident of the Medio Camino (Half Way) community. She had been ill and asked the Red Cross to help her cross the Border for a checkup in her hospital in California. She knew her end was coming, and, when it happened, she wanted to be in her beloved Baja, and to have her ashes scattered in the Pacific Ocean. That is why she returned to Medio Camino. Three weeks later, on December 16th of last year, she passed away.

Because she didn't have a family doctor in Mexico to sign her death certificate, her body was, by law, sent to the Public Coroner's Office. Her neighbors, who had become her family, wanted to say good-bye the right way and fulfill her wish of scattering her ashes at the Medio Camino shores. The day after her death, they went to the Coroner's office to claim her body, but their request was denied because they had no proof or documentation of her wishes and no doctor's death certificate. Mexican law requires an autopsy to determine the cause of her death if there is no death certificate.

The following day, Don Morgan, a neighbor representing a group of residents of Medio Camino, headed to the American Consulate in Tijuana, to get their help. After several days, the neighbors received the authority to claim Karla's body, so Don and his friends went back to the Coroner's office, but they were sent to the Assistant DA's office. Once there and after speaking with several different officials, filling out a lot of paperwork and being told to come back the next day, they were finally authorized to claim Karla's body.

At last they could fulfill Karla's wish, but when they got back to the Coroner's office, the officer in charge told him "Sorry, we sent 7 bodies to the common grave yesterday, and she was one of them". So Don and his friends spent 17 painful days coming and going to Mexican DA's Office, the Coroner's and the US Consulate, but Karla never got her wish and ended up in a common grave.

Mary Mcgrath, on the other hand, had a Mexican medical doctor, based in Rosarito. Mary, , was aware of the need for planning and with the assistance of Serena Senior Care she had made preparations with a local mortuary, advising them what she wanted to happen with her remains. She wanted to be cremated, with half of her ashes spread in the Baja Ocean, and half to be given to her daughter, who lived in Washington.

When the time of her death arrived, her medical doctor signed the death certificate. There was no problem whatsoever; no authorities involved; no red tape; and her wishes were fulfilled up to the last detail. Within two days.

As Peter Fowler, author of "Good Info for Gringos Living in Baja" advises: "Choose a family doctor. Not just any doctor. You need a doctor who knows you and your medical history. He can sign the death certificate" and he recommends to fellow Americans living in Baja: "Serena Senior Care has a full assistance card to establish a medical record".

The medical assistance component of the Serena Full Assistance Card is the key for its members' peace of mind, starting with establishing a local medical record with a certified physician that includes basic blood tests and an interview with a doctor. Having a medical record in Mexico could be a life saver in case of emergency, as dispatchers can provide timely information to paramedics or ambulance operators. Medical records will be available online through secure access, which would be extremely helpful for designated loved ones that can make decisions for card members and facilitate making any arrangements or dealing with authorities in the case of a fatality.

Beyond having peace of mind, this program is about enjoying life in Baja. Additionally the program includes substantial savings and special packages with the best doctors, hospitals and clinics in the region, including the state-of-the-art facilities of Angeles Hospital in Tijuana or the convenience of service at Bonanova Hospital in Rosarito. Physicians in the network include Dr. Clemente Zuñiga, considered one of Mexico's top Geriatricians; Cardiologist Lorenzo Arce, Urologist Jorge Baylon; Dr. Eduardo Guadiana specialist in Orthopedics and Traumatology; as well as Dr. Jose Luis Ruink, PM&R (Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation).

Recently they have added more services and discounts to the Full Assistance Card at some of the more prestigious restaurants such as Rincon San Roman and Marriot Hotel at Real del Mar, That's Amore, Cha Cha's Café and others. Also they have increased the number of places where you can buy the card, such as the "Roma" pharmacies, International Mail Center, and Bajamart & Deli in Bajamar. Additionally the membership now includes Roadside Assistance, so anyone getting a flat tire, loosing tier keys or other mishaps can rely on Serena to help them out. The Card will soon be available in Ensenada, as well. You can find an updated list of places to buy and get discounts on their website, SerenaSeniorCare.com.

New services and new easy convenient ways to get them are one way that Serena Senior Care is proving its commitment to the Baja Retiree community in Rosarito and the North Baja coast. For more information contact Serena Senior Care at info@serenaseniorcare.com or visit their offices in Rosarito located in Arco Plaza, next to the Arch Exit on the Tijuana-Ensenada toll road or by calling US Toll Free (877) 606 0022 or in Rosarito (661) 612 9090.

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Flavio Olivieri

Arturo Reynoso
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