Newsletters

Newsletters


NEWSLETTER #5, JULY 2020

This is the fifth newsletter, introducing Casa Muriel Senior Living – A communal home and medical resource center proposed to be built near Antigua, Guatemala in 2020-21. If you missed previous newsletters look for them here on the website: GuatemalaRetirement.com. Or write to Lori@GuatemalaMedicalTravel.com.


Music – The Universal Therapy

The melody and lyrics of our celebrations, traditions, and social events evoke toe-tapping memories and a smile of recognition that invite the whole group to join in.

The SPICE of life is Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Cultural and Emotional, and music enhances every aspect of that life. Casa Muriel will provide engaged elders with an environment of creativity by organizing in-house musical events and group trips to public concerts.

Not Your Parent’s Retirement Home

Casa Muriel residents will be exploring Guatemalan folkloric and trova songs, search engine efficiency, and mind-expanding musical options, together with curious young adults who crave the perspective of their experience. For past generations of retirement homes, bingo, golf and shuffleboard were the standard, but it’s a whole new multi-cultural dance-inspired world out there now.

Successful Inter-Generational Homes

In Holland, university students live in retirement homes in exchange for sharing common interests with the residents. Older folks are integral contributors to society as instructors and advisors. We appreciate their input because inter-generational support benefits everyone involved.

Sometimes young musicians are the contributors as “artists in residence”. Energetic and open-minded music students live at the senior home for no charge in exchange for performing recitals and concerts. We want to introduce this successful European model to our Casa in Antigua, Guatemala.

Extraordinary Elders in the News, Again

What is Hip? FIFTY Years of Experience. That’s What.

The Tower of Power soul and funk ensemble started performing together in 1968. Vocalists, percussionists, brass and string musicians, each with a lifetime of experience, give it up in the tightest “Soul Power” performance ever – The 50th anniversary concert.

Since the 1960’s, record companies have hired studio sessions musicians in Los Angeles because they are the best in the business. You admired their precision riffs behind the most iconic performers of the 20th century. Those same rock-solid musicians are blowing minds again in the 21st century as The Immediate Family with skills and style unmatched by younger artists.

 

Investing in Casa Muriel, Cooperative Home

Individuals and businesses recognize the value of returns from Casa Muriel because we are personally familiar with the community members who will benefit from our multi-faceted senior center. Choose an investment option that encourages you to participate in decisions that will improve your home environment and establish Casa Muriel as an institution in our community.

Investors, shareholders, sponsors, partners and participants are all welcome to discuss how they might find an opportunity for development together with our Antigua ex-pats cooperative project. Call Lori today for a business plan presentation for your group.

 

Guatemala Medical Travel: Business Up-date

The GMT office is open in Antigua Guatemala and ready to accept new clients. Nurses and patient service coordinators are connected with the best doctors, dentists and hospitals in Guatemala City, to provide you with the highest standard of medical safety measures, as recommended by the experts.

Government sources indicate that our GUA airport is being prepared and renovated to safely accept international arrivals after August 15th. Call us for the latest public health up-dates.

Kindly,
Lori Shea

 



NEWSLETTER #4, JUNE 2020

This is the June 2020 newsletter, introducing Casa Muriel Senior Living – A residential and medical resource center proposed to be built near Antigua, Guatemala in 2020-21. If you missed previous newsletters look for them here on the website: GuatemalaRetirement.com.


A Communal Culture of Caring

Casa Muriel is a safe haven and comfortable home for older folks with shared values of curiosity, humor, charity and responsibility. With a lifetime of experience, we understand that societies thrive and prosper when every member applies individual strengths to cooperate as a cohesive group.

In these days of social turbulence, experts note that we are naturally inclined toward “prosocial behavior” — checking in on neighbors, showing up to help, caring for the needy, and cooking for friends. The Casa Muriel community center is the perfect oasis to make plans with our neighbors, creating our own memories and traditions.

 

Guatemala Gardens Nurture the Body and Soul

In our elder years, we need more calcium, fiber, magnesium and antioxidants. Fortunately, all the fruits and veggies that keep us functioning at optimum performance grow like crazy all year here in Guatemala: tomatoes, papaya, carrots, berries, avocado, and pineapple, to name a few. Casa Muriel will have a carefully planned organic garden with professional gardeners, for gardeners who love working with the soil and cultivating a harvest for our table.

Gardening at home nurtures emotional well-being and personal satisfaction in the nutritional results. Studies by the Princeton Environmental Institute, Sowing Seeds of Happiness, and Landscape and Urban Planning explore how caring for plants at home can positively affect your mood and happiness.

 

Growing Whole, Not Growing Old

In the third age of life, or tercera edad, our personal energy is consolidating, readjusting, and coming alive. All the aspects of our identities that have been overshadowed by jobs, school, marriage, family, health issues, culture and obligations realign to ignite the next stage of inner journeys. Dormant forces awaken and the art of “letting go” seems more comforting than ever.

This is the pinnacle of human development, not the decline that we’re told it is. The best use of our precious lives is to live slower, deeper and more connected. Still, we have a lot to learn and a lot to teach. The modern elder is as curious as she/he is wise, as much an intern as a mentor. Overall, we refuse to be diminished.

 

Investing in Casa Muriel, a Cooperative Concept

Individuals and businesses recognize the investment value in Casa Muriel because we are personally familiar with the community members who will benefit from our multi-faceted senior center:

(1) Private residences designed to keep elders comfortable and protected.

(2) The medical clinic open to local doctors offering premium attention, convenient for patients, improving quality of life.

(3) A community arts and activity center will be open to members and to the public.

Investors, shareholders, sponsors, partners and participants are all welcome to discuss how they might find an opportunity for development together with our Antigua ex-pats cooperative project.

 

Guatemala Medical Travel Business Up-date

The GMT office is open in Antigua Guatemala and ready to accept new clients. Nurses and patient service coordinators are connected with the best doctors, dentists and hospitals in Guatemala City, to provide you with the highest standard of medical safety measures, as recommended by the experts.

Our GUA airport is closed now for pandemic safely measures, but we expect to be accepting international patients as soon as possible. Call us for the latest public health up-dates.

 

Extraordinary Elders in the News, Again

Jeanne Socrates, at age 77, is the oldest person to sail alone, non-stop, around the world, unassisted. She set a world record for solo circumnavigation in her 38-foot boat, arriving back in Victoria in September 2019 after sailing almost 28,000 nautical miles in 320 days.

 



NEWSLETTER #3, May 2020

This is the third newsletter introducing the Casa Muriel Senior Living Center, proposed to be built near Antigua, Guatemala in 2020-21. If you missed previous newsletters look for them in your email inbox in March & April, or here on the website: GuatemalaRetirement.com.


A Communal Home in Antigua, Guatemala

The Casa Muriel Senior Center is a productive community home for active elders living in 20 long-term residences – studios, apartments and bungalows. We share classes, meals, music, exercise and activities because meaningful relationships and good humor cure loneliness, the primary cause of ageing.

The kitchen activity center is the heartbeat of the home. The versatile communal dining and meeting space could have a watercolor class, birthday brunch, baking session, bridge game, book discussion, or musical performance at any time of day.

Our Place in the Community

At Casa Muriel, we dispel the image of institutions and envision a viable and enriching community-based alternative for seniors. Throughout our Antigua ex-pat group, children have the AIS and Green Schools, business owners depend on our patronage for decades, and families expand and prosper. Yet, the older folks are out there on their own, maybe isolated and unsure, when a well-managed social and medical facility can get them back in the swing of things, the way they used to be.

Living alone does not always equate to being independent; it could just mean that you have to work harder to instigate personal interactions. Our goal is to normalize the entire lifespan with community-wide social events, instead of separating and alienating the older third to fit into pre-conceived attitudes of the last century.

1960’s Counterculture >> 2020’s Elder Culture

The idealism of young people coming of age in the 1960’s radically transformed the establishment status quo. They were passionate for human rights, peace, and equality, and essentially reinventing what it means to be a young adult.

These days, we are in the midst of an ageing revolution where older citizens are living about 30 years longer than their grandparents did, so they are transforming society all over again. The psychological shift of our generation is overturning the social order with a sense of purpose and reemerging with mature idealism, and reinventing what it means to become older.

“Third Age” Cultural Icons Shattering Expectations

If you need more proof, just look at the headlines. The “over 70” crowd is dominating the pop culture news…
• Bob Dylan who was been recording and performing since 1963, reached his first #1 billboard hit last month. Look for his new album release in June 2020 – Rough and Rowdy Ways.
• Grace and Frankie, starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, 82 and 80 years old, wraps this season as the longest-running original TV series in Netflix’s history.
• The Rolling Stones, aged 76 to 83, just released a new single, Living in a Ghost Town.
• As a role model of style, talent and dignity, Dame Judi Dench, at age 85 graced the front page of British Vogue this month.

Investing in Casa Muriel

To build a successful cooperative home, community center and medical facility, we must work together. I am contributing over thirty years of experience in hospitality management, business technology and accounting skills. For twelve of those years, I was organizing and guiding successful companies here in Guatemala and working with brilliant and devoted nursing professionals.

You might know of the perfect property or investment partner. Do you have a personal experience to share that could positively impact the design concept? What sort of group would we trust to sponsor our project?

Muriel at Hotel Atitlan, Panajachel, 2016

I’m spending my isolation time crunching numbers to balance budget projections, so I know we can do this profitably for investors and economically for the members and residents.

My bottom line: When every resident of Casa Muriel can say, “What a relief! I don’t have to worry about that anymore.”

We must figure out how to get there.


The Casa Muriel Philosophy on Aging

In the Latin American culture, we call it the tercera edad, or third stage of life, from your sixties to nineties and beyond. It is the liberating post-adulthood period when age and experience are associated with enrichment and spiritual renewal. I like to think of it as the Third Act of your play, the part of the story where the catharsis unveils the depth of personality that you have had all along.

We are the protagonists of our own biographies, shedding baggage and insecurities and embracing the new reality with no nonsense and no regrets. In the turning point of Act III, conflicts are resolved, the cast of characters come together fully formed, and all the comedy, drama and irony unfold in ways we may have never expected. Voice your story with eloquence and ever-evolving clarity to be heard and appreciated. You are a star, so make your Act III worthy of a standing ovation.



NEWSLETTER #2, April 2020

This is the second newsletter introducing the business concept of Casa Muriel Senior Living Center, proposed for Antigua, Guatemala in 2020-21. If you missed it, look for the first newsletter in your inbox, March 23-26th. Or, just phone me for a personal response… 3315-1555. I designed a small website, which is in production now and should be published on-line later this week: GuatemalaRetirement.com.

Casa Muriel – Planning Stages

As of now, the plan is for a 20-unit home in the outskirts of Antigua: Studios, apartments and bungalows with a full-service dining area and a medical resource center for seniors. From majestic westerly views of the sunset and volcanos to the serene secret garden for meditation, nurturing the body and spirit will feature prominently in the plans of our architect, Molly Molander of Tierra Linda Architecture.

Who are Our Residents at Casa Muriel?

They are the Woodstock generation: the census boomers, the rock and rollers, technology innovators, activists, educators, champions, trend setters, lovers and world travelers. Our community attracts the thinkers, doers and givers who gave rise to the next impassioned generation, and then another after that. For a hundred different reasons, these travelers settled here, to their homes in Guatemala.

For our residents at Casa Muriel, the passion remains the same, but the focus has changed. (no, seriously… where are my reading glasses?)

Activities, Discussions and Classes

Social engagement and community interaction keep our brains active and rejuvenated, constantly processing new skills and ideas. Casa Muriel will have interesting activities scheduled every day for our residents and their friends and neighbors. Local celebrities will be invited to discuss their art and techniques at the Casa Muriel community center. Musicians, sailors, weavers, and archaeologists can offer expert-level knowledge and decades of experience to stimulate the conversation.

Health and Well-Being

Physical activity and a healthy diet of natural foods are the first steps maintaining flexibility and stamina. When you need extra attention, skilled nursing care and personal assistance is on-site 24/7, right down the hall from you in the nursing center. Through our affiliation with Guatemala Medical Travel, Casa Muriel offers VIP medical procedures with some of the best providers in Guatemala, in dozens of specialties.

 

Making Our Dreams a Reality

Investing in a high-demand industry with a substantially growing market is not only a smart financial move, but the right thing to do for our community. Casa Muriel offers attractive opportunities for large and small investors. Contact Lori Shea at Lori@GuatemalaRetirement.com for a summary of financial projections, property design proposal, or a complete business plan presentation for your group.

 

Muriel in the “Jesus Chair” at Nim Po’t Handicrafts, Fifth Avenue, La Antigua Guatemala, 2013

Thank you for your kind attention, interest, and support.

Warm regards,
Lori… and Muriel

 

 

 

 

 

 



NEWSLETTER #1, March 2020

Coming Together in 2020

Today, on March 26th, the global pandemic is unfolding as a far-reaching social, financial, and public health calamity. Just like other unimaginable disasters in the past – market crashes, world wars, the attacks on 9/11 – We, the people, persevered and overcame those challenges by sharing our benefits and burdens for the good of all.

We can’t change The World, but we can make “Our World” a better place.

Assisted Living in Antigua

The need is obvious, for an assisted living, elderly care home or senior health resource center in or around Antigua. We have all seen friends and neighbors search for post-operative attention or specialized nursing care for a particular issue or various ailments. Sometimes isolation, vulnerability and chronic pain cause a different set of problems. Imagine if all the attention these patients needed were available in a comfortable cooperative home in Antigua. In addition, those residents would enjoy an enhanced quality of life without the stress of cooking, cleaning, paying bills, staying safe, and finding reliable transportation and medical care.

Casa Muriel, inspired by my mom Muriel Shea (b. 1926- ), is taking shape as an Antigua-based cooperative senior living center with daily personal assistance, medical attention, and all the comforts of living in a fully appointed home. Sharing services and expenses makes economic sense and participating in daily scheduled social events keeps us actively engaged in a vital community.

As they say, “It takes a village…”, and you are part of my village. To achieve a productive communal home and successful cooperative community, we need to work together. You are receiving this email message because I value your insights and perspective, maybe from experience with your own parents moving from the family home into a senior care facility, or maybe just being honest about the lifestyle you would like to have for yourself 2 or 5 or 10 years from now.

Background & Concept

From December 2018 to February 2020, I spent nearly every day, including a month of 24/7 day & night care, with my mother in Rhode Island at her independent, then assisted living, then rehabilitation centers. Mom’s spirit was always upbeat, and she developed cordial friendships, but then we had to make decisions about dementia and nursing care that would maintain her dignity and personal comfort.

From art classes and physical therapy to hospital admissions and advance directives, I was there by her side, listening, discussing, reading and learning everything possible about the ways we could enhance her quality of life, from the no-nonsense senior care professionals. I think we can duplicate that high-quality low-stress senior lifestyle that my mother enjoyed, here in Antigua Guatemala, but with volcano views and tropical gardens.

We Have Medical Providers & Management Professionals

Since Guatemala Medical Travel started in 2009, I have been successfully inviting North Americans and Europeans to come to Guatemala to schedule high-end medical and dental procedures with our amazingly talented surgeons and dentists. As the general manager, I’ve also guided the G.M.T. business model to meet all sorts of unanticipated goals in emergency and primary care for our clients.

  • Registered nurses, GMT associates over the last 10 years, are ready and able to address the specific needs of the older ex-pat population.
  • My professional background is in hospitality management and accounting, opening dozens of high-end hotels and restaurants in Miami & Key West since the mid-80’s.
  • Casa Muriel residents might be retired, but they still have a lot of value to contribute to the physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being of their neighbors.

Let’s put those skills and contacts to good use, benefiting the health needs of our friends right here at home in Guatemala, and the ex-pats who will choose to live here in coming years.

What We Need: Investors and a Location

Talk to your friends about investing in a hotel property to create a senior center for the protection and comfort of our community of elders. It’s the compassionate and civilized thing to do. Call me for a personal business plan presentation.

The Next Steps

I’m sharing my thoughts and plans in this email newsletter with about 140 ex-pat friends in Antigua, Lago de Atitlan and Rio Dulce, as well as professional nurses and real estate agents who have valuable tips to offer about effective planning methods and property options.

To include your ideas and impressions in the next newsletter, please respond here to my personal email: LoriShea@live.com or my mobile: 3315-1555. For serious investors, ask for the complete 20-page business plan with an operations outlines, pro forma budget, and departmental cost analyses.

We can do this, as a cooperative project with the goal of offering the best possible care to our friends in next stage of life.

All the best, and warm regards,

Lori… and Muriel