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No Nursing Home for Me!

picture of nursing home

Let's see the hands of all of you out there who want to live in a nursing home! I don't imagine I would see many raised on that one. And that's not surprising. Many people do not even like to visit someone in a nursing home. Living in a nursing home is something that most people dread and hope will never happen to them. But it has become a reality for many and is often their best and only option.

It may have slipped by some of us that this past week — May 9 - 15 — was National Nursing Home Week. My mom lives in a nursing home in Bowling Green, Ohio. It's a very well run facility with very nice staff, and she's happy and safe there. It's really her only option with some of her present special needs.

When we go on trips, we usually stay with family. When we do stay in hotels, which is rare, we thoroughly enjoy some of the amenities there that we don't have at home. As nice and well run as nursing homes and hotels are, though, we prefer living in our home. Thoughts of nursing homes and hotels reminded me of something I've had in my files for a long time.

No Nursing Home for Me!

picture of Holiday Inn logo

With the average cost for a nursing home reaching $209.00 per day (in 2008), there is a better way to spend our savings, when we get old and feeble. Someone has already checked on reservations at the Holiday Inn for a combined long term stay discount and a senior discount. It comes to only $70.23 per night.

That leaves you $138.77 a day for the following, most of which is already free:

1. Continental breakfast in the hotel and lunch and dinner in any restaurant you want, or even have meals delivered to your room from time to time.

2. Laundry and cable TV showing the Food Network, sports, news, documentaries, and reruns from all the way back in the 50s.

3. They provide a swimming pool, a workout room, a lounge, washer, dryer, etc. They have free toothpaste and razors in addition to the free soap and shampoo.

4. They treat you like a customer, not a patient. Five dollars' worth of tips a day will have the entire staff scrambling to help you.

5. There is city bus stop out front, and seniors ride free. The handicap bus will also pick you up (if you fake a decent limp).

6. To meet other nice people, call a church and ask their bus to pick you up on Sundays. For a change of scenery, take the airport shuttle bus and eat at one of the nice restaurants there. While you're at the airport, fly somewhere. Otherwise the cash keeps building up.

7. It takes months to get into a decent nursing home. Holiday Inn will take your reservation today. And,you are not stuck in one place forever, you can move from Inn to Inn, or even from city to city. Want to see Hawaii? They have a Holiday Inn there too.

8. TV broken? Light bulbs need changing? Need a mattress replaced? No problem. They fix everything, and apologize for the inconvenience.

9. The Inn has a night security person and daily room service, including fresh linens. A maid checks to see if you are OK. If not, they will call the undertaker or an ambulance. If you fall and break a hip, Medicare will pay for the hip, and Holiday Inn will upgrade you to a suite for the rest of your life, for fear that you'll sue them for the broken hip.

10. And no worries about visits from family. Unlike if you were in a nursing home, they will always be glad to come see you and will probably check in for a few days of mini-vacation. You will have more guest rooms than you did in your own house. And the grandkids can use the pool.

What more can you ask for?


When I reach that "golden age,"
I'll face it with a grin —
Just forward all my e-mail to


As far-fetched an idea as it might seem, I remember hearing stories of people who lived for years in a hotel, much as one would in a boarding house. Here's a link to an article telling about several women who retired to live on cruise ships!

Actually, I think I could live quite happily in a nursing home, even if it weren't my preference. I'd like to think that I would try to be the life of the party, seeking to encourage and minister to the other residents and to the staff. How about you, what are your thoughts on nursing homes ... either for yourself or for your loved ones? Will nursing homes become a rarity with Obamacare?


"Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength." - Charles Spurgeon

=^..^= =^..^=

Be nice to your kids. They'll choose your nursing home.

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8 Comments on “No Nursing Home for Me!”

  1. #1 Barbara H.
    on May 17th, 2010 at 10:43 am

    I think most people’s reaction would be something like, “I would never put my parents in a nursing home!” And Christians can sometimes heap guilt on those who do. But sometimes it really is the best option, for several reasons. In my mother-in-law’s case, she can’t be left alone for very long due to both falls and confusion, but she can’t get around very well, and doesn’t like venturing out much at all. With an active teen-ager at home who doesn’t drive yet and a house with stairs, it just wouldn’t work well for her to live with us. It took her a couple of weeks to get adjusted to the assisted living place, but now she tells us often how much she likes it and what a nice place she thinks we picked out for her. One of us visits her every day, and we take her to church Sunday mornings then home with us for Sunday dinner and bring her over for an occasional pizza and Scrabble night. That is about as much of an outing as she can take. 🙂

  2. #2 Jonathan
    on May 17th, 2010 at 10:45 am

    My mother, who just turned 75 this past week, purchased an Inn for the reason of having care in her golden years. It seemed like a good idea at the time, and it really was.

  3. #3 Michael
    on May 17th, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Nursing homes are not my favorite places. However, my parents have been adamant that when the time comes, we are to put them in a nursing home. They don’t want to be a burden to us. I will say, though, that I would like to keep them out of the nursing home as long as possible.

    I will say that the long-term hotel stay is an interesting concept.

  4. #4 Carrie
    on May 17th, 2010 at 11:05 am

    I remember as a teenager visiting my grandpa, whom I loved dearly, in a nursing home. It was scary! As an adult going with my husband when we had a Bible study each week, it was less so, but still not an entirely pleasant place to be. I agree with you, though. If I can still knit, I think I’ll be okay. . .

  5. #5 Nancy
    on May 17th, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    When my mother was in an assisted living facility, my older sister and I joined her for a July 4th event in the dining room – nice picnic-style foods in an air-conditioned room. What’s not to love?

    But a word to the wise. It seems that sing-alongs are to nursing homes what mud pits are to youth groups, so boning up on the old tunes and texts would be wise whether you are planning on being a guest or a resident. My poor mother was fairly appalled that two of her offspring did NOT know such toe-tapping tunes. And college educated nonetheless!

  6. #6 Laura
    on May 17th, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    I read an interesting article about a year or so ago about a guy who needed to take care of his aging parents. After weighing out all his options (I think that he was single), he decided to move with them to INDIA. Housing and food were cheap, good medical care was available for less money than in the US, and he could afford to have full time nursing care, housekeeping, etc. in the house and still have money left over. It was a very strange idea, but he was pleased with the results.

    I don’t think that I’d go that far myself, but one of things my husband & I discussed when we married was about taking care of our parents in their old age . . . we’re both oldest in our families, and it means a lot to us, though we understand that it is not necessarily possible for everyone. It would be especially hard if a medical crisis makes it hard to move the ailing parent to where the grown kids would be able to care for them!

  7. #7 Doodie
    on May 18th, 2010 at 10:24 am

    My husband and I took a cruise to the Panama Canal five years ago and met a lady who was a permanent resident on the ship! She was friendly and happy and knew all of the ship’s secrets (and shared those secrets with those of us who would listen!). She was trying to hide from her family (according to her story) who wanted to have her committed and take all of her inheritance away. At any rate, since we love cruising, we thought she had a pretty good idea!

  8. #8 Vikki
    on May 20th, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    My sister has worked for years in nursing homes as an RN – a number of them. Some of them are wonderful and the residents are very happy. However, there are some out there that are only in it for the money. It’s always wise to COMPLETELY check them out before hand – especially to find out what kind of staffing and care they have after hours.

    On the lighter side, I have a friend who works in an Alzheimers/dementia care facility. Some of the things the residents come up with are really something. One lady decided one morning that she had just sold the building and went around telling everyone they had to pack up and move – right now! Since there’s no reasoning with them due to their mental state, the staff has learned to roll with the punches. They tried telling this lady that the sale had fallen through – no go. Then they told her it was hung up in escrow. She still insisted they were wrong and that the place had been sold and everyone had to pack up and move out. Finally they gave everyone paper bags and told them to go pack. Later that afternoon during nap time, the nurses simply unpacked everything and, when the residents woke, everyone had forgotten all about it. :-0

    At this same place they have a large garden out back because Alzheimer suffers love to wander, so the garden is nothing but paths that twist around in circles, so the residents can wander to their heart’s content and not get into trouble. This sounds like the kind of place I wouldn’t mind having to move my parents to.