In Poland, von Haldenwang celebrates her mother’s 94th birthday
Sonja Miskulin has forgotten Pooki, her beloved cat. She can’t remember whether she has grandchildren and has no recollection of the nine-hour journey that separated her from her German home forever. Suffering from dementia, the wheelchair-bound former translator just celebrated her 94th birthday in a Polish nursing home. Her daughter sent her there in a bid for a better life and more affordable care.
Miskulin has joined the vanguard of a controversial movement: emigrant nursing home residents. The so-called grandma export trend has hands wringing in Germany; Munich’s leading newspaper denounced it as “gerontologic colonialism” and compared it to exporting trash. Yet more and more families say it’s their best option to provide a dignified old age for their parents—and save money—given the lack of affordable care at home. One in five Germans would now consider going abroad for a nursing…
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