Steve Herzfeld confronted the decisions that haunt most of us eventually. His elderly parents needed round-the-clock care, but he couldn’t afford the quality of nursing home he wanted for them in Florida. So he sent them to Puducherry, India!
Looking back, Herzfeld says the main thing he would have done differently would have been to hire staff before their arrival: it took him five difficult weeks to find a nurse.
But once staff had been found, he could give his parents a much higher standard of care than would have been possible in the US for his father’s income of $2,000 (£1,200) a month. In India that paid for their rent, a team of carers – a cook, a valet for his father, nurses to be with his mother 12 hours a day, six days a week, a physiotherapist and a masseuse – and drugs (costing a fifth of US prices), and also allowed them to put some money away.
Could this be the wave of the future? Herzfeld, whose parents died a few years after moving to India, knows this plan would not work for everyone, but he admires the caring way that his parents were treated in India.