Why Families in Europe Are Sending Elderly Relatives To Care Homes in Thailand

While Thailand has long been a popular tourist destination, in recent years Westerners have also been flocking there for an entirely different reason: assisted living and end of life care.

‘The care system in Europe is not working anymore, and it’s going to be a big, big problem,’ says Martin Woodley, who opened a care facility in Thailand in 2003, after his father took his own life because he couldn’t cope with his wife’s dementia. Eileen Chubb, a former carer in the UK, isn’t surprised people are looking for alternatives. She now investigates abuses in UK care homes and has seen plenty of horror stories: ‘People were left with bedsores to the bone and when you walked onto the unit you could smell dead flesh.’ In these Thai resorts, patients are cared for 24/7. Looking after your elders is a vital responsibility in Thai culture, but even there things are changing. One Thai woman, for example, says she won’t rely on her sons in her old age: ‘I’m not sure who will take care of us’.

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