When it comes to retirement living options, you’ve likely considered an array of choices: perhaps a retirement community, a new home or staying in your current home all came to mind. But what about spending your golden years as a resident in a hotel?
That’s what one couple considered when they shared a now viral Facebook post about spending their retirement as permanent residents of a Holiday Inn. Here’s the logic behind hotel retirement: When compared to the daily fee for a private room in a nursing home, the rate for a room at a Holiday Inn with a senior discount is significantly cheaper. Plus, the post authors state, you get housekeeping, a continental breakfast (or room service), exercise facilities and socialization (via lobbies or bar happy hours), plus free bus rides for seniors. And, they note, “They treat you like a customer, not a patient.”
Sounds like a pretty good idea if you want to avoid a nursing home, doesn’t it? But there’s more to the hotel retirement concept than meets the eye. Here’s why retiring to a Holiday Inn isn’t a good idea and why it’s not necessary.
Hotel Retirement: Why It’s Not a Good Idea
Hotels can’t be there for you when you need help: Yes, you’ve got housekeeping and room service to change your linens, clean your room and bring you food when you stay in a hotel. But consider these scenarios:
You need knee surgery. Is the hotel staff going to make sure you can safely move around after the procedure? Are they going to make sure your bed is at an optimal height for you to safely get in and out? Are they going to coordinate physical therapy for you? Are they going to arrange for someone to come to your room to help you with bathing or dressing if you need it? Are they going to make sure you have all your medications and know when and how to take them?
You get injured. Is the hotel staff going to arrange for care to come to your room as you recover? Are they going to communicate with your loved ones about your prognosis and progress? Are they going to work with your insurance so you and your family can focus on your health instead of dealing with claims and phone calls?
Maybe you have long-term care insurance. You can just rest in your hotel room, while your long-term care insurance pays for the help you need, right? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. The truth is you or your loved one will likely spend hours on the phone with your insurance company trying to prove you’ve met the requirements for care. Does spending hours on the phone with an insurance company inside a small hotel room seem like a good way to heal?
A hotel can’t provide the services you need to get and stay healthy. The staff isn’t invested in your wellbeing. The facility isn’t equipped with the staff or equipment to make sure you aren’t rehospitalized after you’re discharged.
You don’t have to live in a nursing home or an assisted living facility: The Facebook post author wrote that they don’t want to move into a nursing home because they don’t want to be treated as patients. What they are overlooking, though, is that you don’t need to. Most issues that land people in nursing homes, like limited mobility, forgetfulness or medication mismanagement, can be handled at home with a few modifications.
You don’t have to leave your home if you don’t want to: Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you automatically have a ticket to the nearest senior living complex. The truth is you can stay in your home as you age if you want. It’s possible, with the right services, to have peace of mind and relieve the burden of care from your loved ones all while living in the place you love.
Like the above example, it’s possible to stay in your home with a few simple modifications and support.
You can stay in your home for less than a hotel: The author of the post noted that at a rate of $59.23 nightly, it would be significantly cheaper than staying in a nursing home. And he’s right. The current cost for a private room in a nursing home is $253 per day, which over a five-year period amounts to $461,725. With the hotel’s rate of $59.23 nightly, that works out to $108,094 over a five year period. However, there’s a third option: staying in your home, while having the security and peace of mind that you will have care if and when you need it. An option like this would cost less than $100,000 over five years, and you wouldn’t be cramped into a tiny hotel room.
While spending your retirement in a hotel may sound appealing, it isn’t able to help you stay well, provide care when you need it, and relieve the burden of care from your loved ones.