Mental Health Day No. 1
Mental Health Day No. 3 – Hand Wave

Mental Health Day No. 2

What an interesting and fruitful discussion we had on Tuesday on the post about retirement living preferences. If you haven't read the comments, you should. You will be enlightened.

Elizabeth left a comment that may or may not have been in jest:

”Rather than an eventual move to a nursing home or other type of care facility, I am thinking of a cruise ship where care is apparently available. When I die, just throw me overboard!”

A lighthearted discourse on cruise ship retirement has been published here twice in the past, most recently here. Go read it, you'll enjoy.

The cruise ship suggestion, I believe, is a sequel to an internet original, Let's Retire to the Hilton which has also been published here in the past. Since I am still on mental health leave, I am reposting it today for your pleasure.

It's quite old and prices involved seem to be outdated but just adjust the numbers in your head and don't let it impinge on your enjoyment and amusement. Here it is:

No nursing home for me! I'm checking into the Hilton Inn. With the average cost for a nursing home per day reaching $188.00, there is a better way when we get old and feeble. I have already checked on reservations at the Hilton. For a combined long-term stay discount and senior discount, it is $49.23 per night. That leaves $138.77 a day for:

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner in any restaurant I want, or room service

Laundry, gratuities, and special TV movies

Plus, they provide a swimming pool, a workout room, a lounge, washer, dryer, etc. Most have free toothpaste and razors and all have free shampoo and soap. They treat you like a customer, not a patient. $5.00 worth of tips a day will have the entire staff scrambling to help you.

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

To meet other nice people, call a church bus 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.

It takes months to get into decent nursing homes. Hilton will take your reservation today. And you are not stuck in one place forever. You can move from Hilton to Hilton, or even from city to city. Want to see Hawaii? They have a Hilton there, too - the wonderful Hilton Hawaiian Village and Spa.

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

The Inn has a night security person and daily room service. The maid checks if you are okay. If not, they will call the undertaker or an ambulance. If you fall and break a hip, Medicare will pay for the hip and Hilton will upgrade you to a suite for the rest of your life.

And no worries about visits from family. They will always be glad to find you at the Inn and will probably check in for a few days' mini-vacation. The grandkids can use the pool.

What more can you ask for?

So, when I reach the golden age, I'll face it with a grin. Just forward all my email to the Hilton Inn.

Ronni here again. According to one of the emails I received years ago with this retirement idea, there was an addendum. Here it is:

Upon telling this story at a dinner with friends and too much red wine, we came up with even more benefits the Hilton provides to retirees:

Most standard rooms have coffeemakers, easy chairs with ottomans, and satellite TV - all you need to enjoy a cozy afternoon.

After a movie and a good nap, you can check on your children (free local phone calls), then take a stroll to the lounge or restaurant where you meet new and exotic people every day. Many Hiltons even feature live entertainment on the weekends.

Often they have special offers, too, like the Kids Eat Free Program. You can invite your grandkids over after school to have a free dinner with you. Just tell them not to bring more than three friends.

If you want to travel, but are a bit skittish about unfamiliar surroundings, in a Hilton you'll always feel at home because wherever you go, the rooms all look the same.

And if you're getting a little absent-minded in your old days, you never have to worry about not finding your room. Your electronic key fits only one door and the helpful bellman or desk clerk is on duty 24/7.

I told Stephen Bollenback, CEO of Hilton this story. I'm happy to report that he was positively ecstatic at the idea of us checking in for a year or more at one of their hotels. Stephen said we could have easily knocked them down to $40 a night.

See you at the Hilton. And not just for a "Bounce Back Weekend," but for the rest of our lives.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Clifford Rothband: How to Make Your Own Luck


Count me in on Hilton when I need to go somewhere other than independent living in the suburbs. Sounds quirky but fun. ;)

That's the best idea yet.

Count me in!

Oh wait.

Can I have a cat?

I love the "Hilton retirement" idea. Now, if we can only get Obamacare to pay for it....

My post about the cruise ship instead of the nursing home was/is a serious intent, as was the throw me overboard when I die!

However, maybe I will check into the Hawaiian Hilton! San Diego and Honolulu are my two
favorite cities!

These and other options are quite desirable in theory; however, they all assume you are not bed-ridden and need help for basic needs. At that point, there are few options other than the very expensive ones.

The cruise ship sounds better to me because I love to travel. But my money would run out soon and i would be evicted. Drowning is not my favorite way to go.

Georgia O'Keeffe and her husband lived in a hotel in New York for many decades. I think it was very much the thing to do back in the 20s and 30s.

A friend of mine recently returned from a cruise where she met a man who is doing just as you write about. He lives on cruise ships, going from one cruise to another. I believe he spends time with his children in between, but otherwise, he lives on a cruise ship. When one has taken so many cruises with a particular line, they are upgraded and given many perks.

Funny thing: I live in a CCRC, a Continuing Care Retirement Community, that offers almost all of the same amenities as the Hilton does. No free toothpaste or shampoo, and management won't replace my mattress--the furniture is all mine--but in just about every other way, this is like the Hilton, including shuttles that cover the ground locally and a pull cord for emergencies. I pulled it a few times when my husband was alive, and the EMTs arrived within 5 minutes.

Yes, "bed ridden" or dementia ultimately can sink all the fun and joy of the end game. It really irks me.

I also live in a CCRC and we all talk about it as if we were living on a cruise ship. Hilton isn't an alternative to a nursing home as it doesn't provide nursing. The problem with living here is that people say "Oh, you live in that nursing home," not willing or able to discriminate among the various opportunities for retirement living. On the other hand, I've been on cruises where there were permanent elderly residents, which is appealing.

The problem isn't retirement homes or cruises when you don't feel like cooking or are lonely, you also can live with a few others in your house and hire a full-time housekeeper for less money.

The big money is spent when you get something like severe Parkinsons or dementia or a stroke and you need the heavy duty nursing that puts you into long term care and eats up every dime of your assets. Here's where we need the "checkout pill" option.

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