03.01.03. Public long-term care system | Mexico

03.01.03. Public long-term care system | Mexico

12 Jul 2022

There are some permanent LTC residences (care homes) for older people in the country. However, given that there is no single and mandatory public registry, except for a few publicly funded institutions, there is high uncertainty about the total number of institutions, the type of services they offer, their cost and the number of people who use them, as well as the quality of the services they provide and their impact on the well-being and quality of life of its residents. Some of the institutions are managed by public institutions and civil society organisations and there are also some homes ran by for profit organizations.

With respect to public services, in Mexico, it is important to note the differences between national-level public services (funded and provided by central budget and government) and those provided and financed at the local level, by the state or other municipal authorities.

Public institutions

With respect to national, centrally funded services, the National Institute for Older Adults (INAPAM), and the National System for the Development of the Family (DIF), both part of the federal level of government, have a total of ten institutions that provide permanent housing for older adults. INAPAM has six permanent housing/residential institutions (four in the Federal District, one in Guanajuato and another in Oaxaca) and DIF has 4 (two in Mexico City, one in the state of Morelos and one in the state of Oaxaca). Regarding the admission to these public institutions, priority is given to people in extreme conditions of vulnerability such as older people in situations of abandonment or without housing. Voluntary admission can be requested and there is usually a waiting list for the few places available. The services are offered at no charge or cost to the resident, and they generally provide accommodation, food, laundry services, cleaning, general medical care and referral to second or third level health services. They also offer support for the basic activities of daily life, as well as for recreational, sports, and cultural activities.

In addition, some municipalities (local public financing) have day centres (recreation mostly) for older adults. However, given the lack of a national level regulation agency and of a national mandatory registry of institutions, no precise information on the total number of public (or private) institutions is available. As a result, in order to gather information on institutions administered at the state level, there are few sources that can be consulted for information, and since different sources have to be consulted, consequently, data can be over or underestimated. The latest data from the National Statistical Directory of Economic Units, DENUE[1] (Directorio Estadístico Nacional de Unidades Económicas) reports 819 permanent housing institutions for elderly individuals. Of these, 85% are private and not-for profit organisations and only 15% are publicly funded. The number of institutions per state shows important variations, with 6 states (Jalisco, Ciudad de México, Nuevo León, Chihuahua, Guanajuato, Michoacán, San Luis Potosí, Sonora,  and Yucatán) concentrating 64% of all institutions.

[1] The DENUE offers information on the identification, location and economic activity of the economic establishments currently in operation in the national territory and includes a category for “asylums and other residences for the care of the elderly” (INEGI 2011). It is a broad definition that includes permanent institutions and temporary stay institutions such as day centres. In the case of permanent housing institutions, it includes a wide variety of local used terms such as care homes, rest homes, retirement homes, long-stay for seniors, among others. It registers publicly and privately funded institutions as well as civil society organisations. Last access 5 July 2019 https://www.inegi.org.mx/app/mapa/denue/