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Assisted Living Communities

Last Updated: Sep 19, 2011

senior couple
 - Costa Rica

In the United States, retirement communities – independent living, assisted living or nursing care – are an expensive proposition. Depending on location and services offered, private facilities range from $1,000-$5,000 a month, per resident. By comparison, retirement care in Costa Rica costs less than half this amount for the same quality of service, making this small nation an ideal choice to spend your golden years.  

Independent living centers are ideal for active seniors seeking a mature community with excellent amenities and limited nursing care. Assisted living is more transitional, and is geared toward individuals who are mostly self-sufficient but appreciate onsite medical services and help with day-to-day tasks. A skilled nursing facility offers medical care and 24-hour assistance with daily tasks and other needs. In most cases, residents of independent or assisted living communities reside in their own home or apartment, while nursing care residents often have shared or private rooms. 

Jose Pujol Marti Retirement Residence

Sponsored by the Spanish Cultural Association, the Jose Pujol Retirement Community is popular among Spanish expats, although there are English-speaking residents. Residences are unfurnished and very affordable: $1,000 per month per person covers rent, all meals, housekeeping, laundry, basic utilities, and access to the Spanish Country Club. Additional services include a fitness center, organized activities, and occasional outings. Most retirees enter the community as independent retirees, but if skilled nursing care becomes necessary, residents may take advantage of the onsite nurse or hire full-time nursing care.  

  • Location: La Ribera de Belen, Heredia
  • Contact: 2239-0295 
  • Type: Independent Living & Nursing Care
  • Capacity: 26 apartments
  • Minimum Age: 65
  • Cost: $1,000 per month 

Pura Vida Life Care

Located in the cool hills above Heredia, Pura Vida Life Care caters to upscale and independent retirees. Residents must be at least 60 years old and in good health, as the community is geared toward independent living; assisted living and nursing care are also available. The 30-acre property is landscaped with tropical plants and bordered by a river. Amenities include an exercise room, dining room and medical facilities. There is a $250,000 fee to join the community, and $1,650 per month (first resident; $500 for the second) covers one meal daily and all services.  

  • Location: Los Angeles de Heredia
  • Contact: 2267-7920; 800-345-8394 (U.S.)
  • Type: Independent Living, Assisted Living & Elder Care
  • Capacity: 60 villas
  • Minimum Age: 60
  • Cost: $250,000 buy-in + $1,650 per month for first resident & $500 per month second resident 

Ricovida Rio Grande

Ricovida is an active retirement community located in one of the world's best climates. Dedicated to green living, amenities include outdoor activities like horseback and hiking trails, as well as luxury facilities including a restaurant, spa and fitness center. All villas are built on one to two-acre lots; pre-construction prices range from $250,000-$350,000 for a two or three-bedroom villa, plus $35,000-$40,000 for an optional guesthouse. Personal chefs, transportation and skilled caretakers are available at additional cost.  

  • Location: Rio Grande, near Atenas, Alajuela
  • Contact: 616-891-8601 (U.S.)
  • Type: Independent Community
  • Capacity: 104 lots
  • Cost: $250,000-$350,000 for a 2 or 3-bedroom villa 

Villa Alegria

Billed as an ethical and caring nursing home, Villa Alegria provides dignified and quality medical services to its small residential population. Social activities, a meeting room and organized activities encourage socialization, while a host of services help residents recuperate from short-term illnesses or live as independently as possible. Villa Alegria has been in business for more than 30 years and provides 24-hour nursing care with onsite professionals including nutritionists, occupational therapists, social workers, and physical therapists. 

  • Location: El Coyol de Alajuela
  • Contact: 2433-1649 
  • Type: Skilled Nursing Care
  • Capacity: 7 bedrooms (3 private, 4 shared)
  • Minimum Age: 65
  • Cost: $2,500 per month for a private room and $2,000 for a shared room; rates include 3 meals daily, all medical care, 24-hour nursing, and physical therapy
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