Does Death Become You as an Expat?

              “None of us are getting out of here alive.” ~ R. Alan Woods

IMG_5748If you are an expat or consider becoming an expat, I’ve written an article called, Does Death Become You as an Expat? for the Nicaragua Dispatch. With an increasingly older population of expats retiring in Nicaragua, planning for an emergency or possible death abroad is vital.

I have a friend who had to return to the United States because palliative care was not an option in Nicaragua. I’d like to network with a hospice program that provides hospice or palliative care abroad. If you are familiar with a program and have information on how to start one in Nicaragua, please let me know. Let’s help to make death dignified and compassionate abroad. After all, none of us are getting out of here alive. 🙂

Other articles I’ve written:
Marina and Socialized Medicine In Nicaragua
Helplessly Mute: A Trip to the Dentist
Expats and Obamacare for Los Idiotas
Health Care for Expats in Nicaragua
No Family Left Behind

15 thoughts on “Does Death Become You as an Expat?

  1. I am in Honduras, Roatan, to be exact…….I’m an advanced practice RN thinking about starting a hospice/ palliative care destination here… very good friend is currently in Stage IV glioblastoma brain cancer and wants to come to ‘Paradise’ for her final days. she has been here many times, and knows this is where she wants to palliate….obviously I will provide this for my sister from another mother………but it did raise the question….are there others, expats, or people who would rather a ‘hospice with a view’ ………..???

    I suppose I’m just thinking out loud……but I am a Canadian expat living in Roatan with the drive, desire, and skills to provide this service……what do you think??? I’d appreciate any comments or opinions…. Thank you!

    Wendy Flood, RN, Roatan Honduras

    • Hi Wendy,

      This is exactly why we organized a meeting for issues of death in Nicaragua. A friend of mine tried to stay in Nicaragua and receive palliative care, but the biggest hurdle was the pain relief. Morphine is highly controlled in Nicaragua and the only way she could receive an IV drip was to be admitted to Vivan Pellas Hospital. She wanted to die in her home, therefore, she had to return to the U.S. to receive hospice care for the pain relief. A place to start would be to research the use of narcotics in Honduras. Are they readily available? How are they controlled? Can one receive morphine through an IV drip in the home? I have some information I can send you through an email. It is my understanding, that pain relief narcotics are the biggest hurdle, and it depends on your country’s laws concerning narcotics. Best of luck Wendy. Thanks for your compassionate comments.

      • Thanks so much for your comments and suggestions….narcotics of all types are very tightly controlled here…sounds like it’s a similar situation as in Nicaraugua. I’d love any iof you can send me via email.
        If someone has an Rx from their home country, it could be used here….as for a drip….the PCA’s are not available here…..but s/c or IM or even IV push could be possible, if a person brought their own meds with them…….I was thinking of trying to offer a hospice type of service here….but it’s all just in my head at this point….no research on hthe subject yet…..

  2. This is an issue of great importance and one that we’ve discussed between ourselves as we really don’t plan to live in the US again. With quality medical care available and the affordability of hiring domestic help it should be possible to remain at home until the end as long as pain and other nursing issues can be addressed. Sounds like a home health agency might be a great business opportunity for the right person! Anita

  3. Pingback: Daily News Links | GringoTree Quito

  4. In Ecuador there is a pre-payment plan available to pay for the services needed when a person passes. We lost two friends here in San Clemente and there’s a need for legal help during that time , especially if there is property involved.

    • John and Mary, there are many things we never consider when retiring abroad. Glad to hear there is a pre-payment plan available. Is the plan for funeral homes? I’m more curious, than morose, but when an expat dies in Ecuador, what is the process?

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