Over the years I have scores of Americans with various degrees of disabilities who moved to Costa Rica to retire. Most have adjusted to life here and are happy.
People with slight to moderate disabilities usually are more successful. Because Costa Rica has excellent medical care and highly trained specialists disabled people can get the care they need. Those with severe disabilities can find full-time help at a bargain price to take care of their basic needs. However, in some cases specialized nursing may be hard to find. The good news is as Costa Rica becomes more popular with Baby Boomers new retirement communities will be built with programs for independent and less independent retirees.
The U.S. Embassy offers special services for disabled vets who need help in Costa Rica. I know many veterans who get medications shipped to them through the embassy.
J.T. (not real name) is a friend of mine and disabled Vietnam vet who has lived in Costa Rica for over over 25 years. He gets all of his medications, visits to the doctor and hospitalization paid for by the VA through the U.S. Embassy. He just turns in the paperwork and everything gets taken care of.
Bill Rolland is another disabled friend. He is a former policeman from California and had lived here for six years. He suffers from Diabetes and a few other debilitating illnesses. He loves his life here and says if he had remained in the States he would probably be dead by now.
I know one woman with Lupus who has all of her medical needs taken care of here. She swares by her Costa Rican rheumatologist.
Another couple I know both have disabilities and moved here to cut down on their medical expenses and take advantage of the country’s excellent health care. They seem to be so happy here and enjoying a better quality of life than they did in the States.
On the negative side, Medicare won’t cover your medical expenses if you disabled and living outside of the U.S.. Also there are many older buildings that don’t have wheel chair ramps nor are they handicap friendly. The good news is that in general people with physical limitations can enjoy retirement here.