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I want to move to Lake Chapala


LisaTravel
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Good morning!! I have been researching my father’s future retirement location and Lake Chapala just seems right from what I’m reading. I was wondering if all the amazing people that have already moved there would be willing to connect and help me. He is Canadian and a wonderful joyful person.  I so dearly want him to be happy and safe ?.  If I help him relocate (I would follow in several years) I need to make sure I am choosing the right place.  Have y’all found resources to understand; immigration requirements, government pension limitations, healthcare resources?  I would love to visit Spring of 2018 and meet some of y’all.  

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Amazing question which I’ve asked him.  He expresses despondency when I speak to him. He is remote from friends and family and the weather in Canada limits his mobility.  He is incredibly social and while his sons are in Canada, they have demanding jobs and he lives quite far away from them, its all he could afford.   I live abroad for work myself.   I would have moved him into a retirement community (to assist with social access) in Canada but it is just too expensive.  He likely has another 20 years ahead of him but a stroke  limited him of his complex cognitive skills therefore I’m trying to help provide him with some viable options.  The winters are quite draining on him.  

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On his own, he would definitely need all of his cognitive skills intact, as dropping into a new culture and language, in spite of the availability of other expats, might be a daunting task if he is at all limited. 

To visit Mexico is easy, for up to 180 days as a tourist, but then one must leave.  To reside longer will require a residence visa, for which there are financial income/resource requirements to meet. Application would have to be done, in person, at a Mexican consulate in Canada. Their website will probably give you the details and appointment requirements.  If approved, he would have 6 months to enter Mexico, then another couple to process the actual visa with Immigration (INM) within 30 days of arrival and with proof of residence address in Mexico.

Could he handle that alone?  If so, a rich social life might be possible for him and you could look forward to joining him later without too much worry.

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There are people that can be hired to help him through the initial adjustment period and trips to govt. offices.  Although, one must be VERY careful of people reporting to be helpful; this area is rife with crooks who would defraud elderly folks.  This also includes at least one well known doctor.

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Look into the cost of medical in Mexico, unfortunately we didn't do our homework very well and had to return to Canada after 6 years because of medical expenses for my husband.  I miss Ajijic so much and all the wonderful people we met down there, this first winter back in Canada has been a big adjustment but medical coverage has been worth it.

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There are several groups which provide information services about relocating to lakeside. The one I used was Focus on Mexico, which has a weeklong program that walks you through the how to of immigration, culture, activities etc. They are not the cheapest alternative, but you do end up with a ready-made group of friends before you ever move here.

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Renember this is mexico and not usa, canada or anywhere else and has its own culture, laws. Benefits and hazards.

A trip for a few weeks or longer is a must.

If your father needs to rely on others beware of the scammers here, of all nationalities.just read some sad stories here.

Health care is good privately but not cheap.sp and imss both have downsides and maybe not upto what you or i are used to.again search here.

Some things you are used to doing easily can be complicated and frustrating at times(driving licence , registering for inapam, cancelling unsolicited items on  bills etc.) Again read here.

Very little consumer protection and little if any recourse against the scammers.seen to many newcomers recently think its some paradise.its not but the weathers nice !!

 

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You suggested a Spring 2018 trip down to ‘investigate’. That’s the best way to proceed. When you know when you will be here Post again asking if someone(s) would be willing to meet with you. You would probably get several takers, including Canadians who have made the move. 

There are/will be ‘financial’ requirements to meet to be able to move into Mexico. I will send you a Private Message now giving you a website that explains a lot that you will need to know.

 

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Lisa, I am a Canadian from Ontario. I tried to bring my mother down to live with us when I saw that her cognitive skills were declining. It was an absolute disaster. She was afraid to go out in case she got lost... she was afraid of walking on the cobblestones... she was frustrated trying to communicate with those who didn't speak her language... she was confused about the peso and was sure she was getting ripped off. imho, anyone who is losing their cognitive skills BEFORE they get here, shouldn't come. We were there for her every step of the way and it was still too much for her to handle. We certainly wouldn't have ever considered leaving her on her own in a foreign country.

You need to look at ALL the options available to your Dad and depending on which province he is currently residing in. That starts with a frank talk with his GP to get him assessed as to his ability to look after and care for himself. And run this idea of yours past the GP and get his opinion too. Seniors are extremely good at hiding their disability and, at this stage, you are only seeing the "visiting" person. There are excellent residences available at reasonable cost that are not the "frou, frou" kind... or there is in home care up to and including daily by the VON. There are senior gatherings etc. Lots of info out there but you have to have a starting point and that is with his GP and then assessment.

 

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my thoughts are..come down for your spring visit and get somewhat familiar with the various areas, +'s and -'s..Then build a plan for your move in a few years with your dad..and you both settle in together..

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Lisa:

Tomas gave good advice. An exploratory visit is an excellent idea... Knowing the requirements for other than a tourist visa is a good place to start...  You will find that people here are on the average, open and inviting... Come on down and see for yourself...

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 2/20/2018 at 7:59 AM, giltner68 said:

Be aware of the "seasons". April/May the first part of June are the July/August of north of the border climes. It's dry, not so green and hot. Once the rain starts mid June everything is green and almost cool at times.

It is best to visit during the "hot" time if he would be living here full time.  That way he will find out it can be a little uncomfortable for a couple of months.

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Listen to Ferret!!! Your father would never manage here on his own unless you put him in a senior's care center. And, in many of those centers residents often have dementia and Alzheimer's who do not interact with other. The better one's charge $2500 Canadian and up. He knows no one in Mexico. He does not speak the language. Pesos are foreign to him. How would he possibly get about? How would he manage banking? How would he get to medical care? He has no provincial government insurance. How would he go out for groceries and basic necessities especially considering he will be using pesos and where some do not speak English? Who would he call in an emergency? Do not do it. When you state: "stroke limited him of his complex cognitive skills" why give this more than a minute of thought considering his condition and when it will only get worse. 

 

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On 2/18/2018 at 4:36 PM, Yo1 said:

There are people that can be hired to help him through the initial adjustment period and trips to govt. offices.  Although, one must be VERY careful of people reporting to be helpful; this area is rife with crooks who would defraud elderly folks.  This also includes at least one well known doctor.

Nothing like making a tantalizing statement like "at least one well known local doctor".  Would you be kind enough to send me a PM saying who it is.  I fear it's one who a dear friend has been going to.:huh:

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Listen to Ferret and Sonia. I am Canadian and have been living part time at the Lake since 1999. It seems the ONLY valid reason for moving your dad down to Mexico is the climate. There are many smaller communities in BC where the weather is much improved over Ontario, and which are friendly and supportive communities with loads of activities for seniors. Consider this alternative. Your message reveals your complete naivite about Mexico and the difficulties that would face your dad. 

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5 minutes ago, Sunshine Girl said:

Your message reveals your complete naivite about Mexico and the difficulties that would face your dad. 

1

From what I gleaned from her post is that she hasn't ever been here, so what could you expect?

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1 minute ago, Sunshine Girl said:

Listen to Ferret and Sonia. I am Canadian and have been living part time at the Lake since 1999. It seems the ONLY valid reason for moving your dad down to Mexico is the climate. There are many smaller communities in BC where the weather is much improved over Ontario, and which are friendly and supportive communities with loads of activities for seniors. Consider this alternative. Your message reveals your complete naivite about Mexico and the difficulties that would face your dad. 

On the other hand...her dad is having cognitive  problems, and those do not tend to get better. He can't afford Canadian assisted living, whereas here they are several places where the costs might be more likely to be within the budget.  Since some of them already have English speaking residents, he would not be isolated by the language.  The daughter might be well advised to visit such places in the area and see what's available.

BTW, she is looking for information here to dispel her naivete, isn't she?

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On 2/18/2018 at 2:29 PM, LisaTravel said:

Amazing question which I’ve asked him.  He expresses despondency when I speak to him. He is remote from friends and family and the weather in Canada limits his mobility.  He is incredibly social and while his sons are in Canada, they have demanding jobs and he lives quite far away from them, its all he could afford.   I live abroad for work myself.   I would have moved him into a retirement community (to assist with social access) in Canada but it is just too expensive.  He likely has another 20 years ahead of him but a stroke  limited him of his complex cognitive skills therefore I’m trying to help provide him with some viable options.  The winters are quite draining on him.  

This is not a retirement community. This is a series of Mexican villages in which a number of non Mexicans choose to live after we have retired. 

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22 minutes ago, ajijiccharlie said:

This is not a retirement community. This is a series of Mexican villages in which a number of non Mexicans choose to live after we have retired. 

Aw, c'mon.  Of course it's a series of Mexican villages, but on some levels it has quite a few elements of a retirement community for English speakers.  Consider all the services catering to them. She's going to get the picture well enough when she visits. 

IMO, we should be as helpful as we can to a daughter trying to find a good option for her dad. Any of us who had to help elderly parents find a good living solution know what a challenge it can be, even when there is no cognitive impairment.  Been there.

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How many have you visited a senior's care center in Mexico? I do all the visa for the two largest ones in San Miguel. While the attention. compassion and care are very good hardly one of the residents can carry on a normal conversation. Sadly, dementia and Alzheimer's is the state of many residents. Their ages currently range from 46 to 100. The exit doors need to be locked at all times to make sure no one leave. 

In this case, her father based on her words may be expected to live many more years.... in a retirement home? 

How many people on here would bring their parent in his condition and then leave with no friends, no family in a foreign country? I know in the Mexican culture it would never happen.

This is being helpful saying PLEASE DO NOT BRING HIM HERE.

 

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