Thursday, 30 August 2012

A retirement village in Bali?

It's quite a few years since I've been to Bali (hence the images in this post weren't taken by me  EDIT:   now inserted a replacement 2nd image, which  is mine), but from what I understand, it's now even more crowded.   I don't have immediate plans to move into a retirement village, but who knows what the future might hold?   To the extent that I've thought about this contingency, a retirement village in Bali hasn't featured in my thoughts.
However, my attention was struck my a report in the Weekend Australian recently - see:
 (Yes, I know it's behind a paywall, so just read on).

When the article was first brought to my attention, my reaction was the usual thing:   a place like Bali might be OK while you're (relatively) fit, but when  you really, really need care, it won't be there for you.
However, the point made in the article is that, if in fact you do need constant care, it's much cheaper in Bali, where domestic and personal help is readily available.  Hence, if you've got a condition that requires full-time care, this is readily available.  Given that this is a place where there is a culture of care and respect for the elderly, it could be the place for you.
Bali - from a trip years ago!
It's reported that the central Indonesian and local Bali governments are collaborating to enable the building of accredited retirement villages to international standards.
One issue is the standard of local medical care:  the ambulance system is apparently pretty woeful and although there are clinics catering to expatriates, foreign medical practitioners can't (at present) work in Indonesia.  Sure,  Singapore is "only" a two hour flight away, and while that might be OK for medical appointments that you can make in advance, it isn't going to be much use if you need emergency treatment. And while for many people, it is not a priority to be brought back from death's door if your time is up, the greater concern is possibly the non-life-threatening but serious event (broken bones come to mind).

But just the same, for some people, Bali might be an option.  I guess it could work if you're prepared to fit into the expatriate community (but if you're in a retirement village, what's the difference?) and don't have close family ties to a particular place (or, like one of our friends, the family is scattered) and especially if you need on-going personal care.

However, I don't think Bali is for many of us.  For many of us, our circle of interests and friendships are are here.  It's bad enough dealing with the Australian tax regime from within Australia let alone as a non-resident (and who knows what complexities might exist in Indonesia - I haven't even googled this!)   Some of us would miss the availability of "retail therapy" as we know it (albeit that a somewhat different form of shopping is available).  And ultimately the political system there, whilst seemingly stable at present, doesn't have a great reputation for integrity and at the end of the day isn't going to be motivated by the interests of elderly expatriates!  

But we should probably be supportive of those who do take the Bali option.  For one thing, it means that there will be less of a load on care resources within Australia, perhaps making them slightly more available for those of us who linger on here.

1 comment:

  1. A very thoughtful post but it would be too hot for us as is Vienna!