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!
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.