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Aging Baby Boomers: Could older folks live aboard cruise ships?
Myrtle Beach Online ^ | 12/19/04 | John Pain

Posted on 12/20/2004 5:44:16 PM PST by qam1

MIAMI - Gil and Teresa Betthauser spent more than a decade of their retirement touring the nation in a motor home, and now in their 70s, they can't imagine the idea of ending their travels to move into an assisted-living facility.

That's why they're intrigued by a recent study that proposes seniors who need only minimal care should take the money they would have spent on assisted living and book permanent passage on cruise ships.

"When people have an opportunity to go to the Bahamas, they'd have something to look forward to and they'd live longer," said the 76-year-old Teresa, who currently lives with her husband in a retirement community in Tucson, Ariz.

The two Northwestern University physicians who wrote the study, Drs. Lee Lindquist and Robert Golub, make the case that the costs for an entire year in an assisted-living center are comparable to those on a cruise ship. Doctors or nurses are always on call on larger ships. All meals are taken care of. Libraries, movie theaters and pools are available for entertainment.

And perhaps most importantly, the allure of being in the warm weather all year and visiting exotic places might persuade some resistant seniors to get the care they need.

"It comes to a point where they can't live at home alone," Lindquist said. "That's the hardest thing to do, to send someone to an assisted-living facility. No one thinks they're old enough."

The authors acknowledge that crew members would have to receive additional training, such as in dispensing pills and helping the elderly get dressed. And only seniors who weren't bedridden or seriously ill could live at sea.

"With assisted living, these are pretty much independent seniors. They'd need help with maybe one or two activities, meal preparation, shopping or taking medications," Lindquist said.

The study calculated an annual cost in a double cabin on a Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. ship at about $33,000 per person. A search on Yahoo's travel Web site had prices as low as $399 per person in a double cabin for a seven-night cruise in the Gulf of Mexico on a Norwegian Cruise Line Ltd. ship. Port charges, taxes and government fees could bring that up to about $26,000 a year per person.

That's not a bad deal, the study contends, because the average annual cost at an assisted-living center is about $22,000 per person, according to federal and private data. In large cities such as Chicago, those costs can exceed $48,000 a year.

There would be extra costs, such as transport from the ship for emergency care and crew training. But Lindquist said she has gotten hundreds of e-mails since the study's November release from people interested in the idea, including the Betthausers. Lindquist suggests there could be an untapped market among America's more than 35 million people who are age 65 or older.

About 800,000 Americans with an average age of 80 are in assisted-living facilities, according to the National Center for Assisted Living.

There might only be 30 or 40 elderly people living on each ship, so companies wouldn't have to worry about being known as "the old folks cruise," Lindquist said. That way they could also mingle with a younger crowd, said Lindquist, who got the idea after taking a cruise with her parents, who are in their late 50s.

So far, the cruise industry hasn't enthusiastically responded to the proposal. The two biggest cruise companies, Carnival Corp. & PLC and Royal Caribbean, refused to comment on the plan.

About 9.8 million people traveled on cruise ships last year, and more than a quarter were 60 or older, according to industry figures.

But the International Council of Cruise Lines, a trade group that represents the major companies, doesn't think the industry is prepared to handle a large number of permanent residents with special medical needs.

"Cruises are intended to be a vacation. They're not intended to be a long-term assisted-living facility," council President Michael Crye said.

Cruise lines also have been marketing themselves to a more active crowd over the past two decades, getting away from an old saying that the typical passenger was "newlywed, overfed or nearly dead."

Crye said none of the council's members was considering Lindquist's idea but agreed one day there might be a market for this type of cruising. "Baby boomers are going to be over the next decade or 20 years people that are going to be in this category," he said.


TOPICS: Extended News
KEYWORDS: babyboomers; genx; greedygeezers; youpayforthis
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1 posted on 12/20/2004 5:44:16 PM PST by qam1
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To: qam1
I've seen shows on TLC and/or Discovery about some big money investor who wants to build a massive ship that would be basically a country unto itself that would just permanently roam the oceans.

Would make an excellent senior community.

2 posted on 12/20/2004 5:46:54 PM PST by Phantom Lord
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To: qam1; ItsOurTimeNow; PresbyRev; tortoise; Fraulein; StoneColdGOP; Clemenza; malakhi; m18436572; ...
Xer Ping

Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations (i.e. The Baby Boomers) are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.

Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.  

3 posted on 12/20/2004 5:46:55 PM PST by qam1 (Anyone who was born in New Jersey should not be allowed to drive at night or on hills.)
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To: qam1

Someone should start a company which caters specifically to this market.


4 posted on 12/20/2004 5:47:33 PM PST by ScottFromSpokane (We're none of us prefect.)
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To: qam1

"the average annual cost at an assisted-living center is about $22,000 per person, according to federal and private data. In large cities such as Chicago, those costs can exceed $48,000 a year."

I know several assisted living facilities in small town Ohio which cost around 4000/month--48K per year. The only thing a cruise ship could not provide, that they have now, is proximity to family.

And that means more to AL residents, at least those (many) who have family nearby, than warm weather or sunny climes.


5 posted on 12/20/2004 5:48:57 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: qam1

They will only go for it if they don't have to pay a dime.


6 posted on 12/20/2004 5:51:02 PM PST by vpintheak (Liberal = The antithesis of Freedom and Patriotism)
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To: qam1

"Gil and Teresa Betthauser spent more than a decade of their retirement touring the nation in a motor home, and now in their 70s, they can't imagine the idea of ending their travels to move into an assisted-living facility."

Currently living in Tucson. Ten to one they don't have any family within 1000 miles.


7 posted on 12/20/2004 5:51:12 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: ScottFromSpokane
Someone should start a company which caters specifically to this market.

The ships should not be exclusively for the elderly. There should be room for their children who would like to combine a cruise with a visit to the folks.

8 posted on 12/20/2004 5:53:09 PM PST by night reader
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To: vpintheak
LOL!

Dinner will also be served everyday at 2PM !!!!
9 posted on 12/20/2004 5:54:47 PM PST by cmsgop
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To: qam1

Not a bad idea. Karen and I once took a "cruise to no-where." Did a lot of reading, drinking marqueritas, and trap-shooting.


10 posted on 12/20/2004 5:55:42 PM PST by Cobra64 (Babes should wear Bullet Bras - www.BulletBras.net)
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hmm you used to be able to get a deduction for your RV if you lived in it a certain # of months per year...maybe they can do a time share type thing... live on board during the cold months...and get the deduction


11 posted on 12/20/2004 5:56:15 PM PST by KneelBeforeZod ( I'm going to open Kobra Kai dojos all over this valley!)
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To: qam1
IMO it would need to be entirely assisted living. Most probably would develop a routine and a style of living that a vacation crowd might disrupt.
12 posted on 12/20/2004 5:56:23 PM PST by CindyDawg (Hey aclu... Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! :'~))
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To: qam1

And then what.....sink the ship?


13 posted on 12/20/2004 5:57:26 PM PST by processing please hold (Islam and Christianity do not mix ----9-11 taught us that)
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To: Phantom Lord

Do you mean the Freedom Ship? http://www.freedomship.com/ Looks good to me, there's nothing better than a day at sea!


14 posted on 12/20/2004 5:58:00 PM PST by Bush_Democrat (Now EX-Democrat)
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To: ScottFromSpokane

'Someone should start a company which caters specifically to this market.'

"Virgin" Airlines, possibly ...


15 posted on 12/20/2004 6:04:27 PM PST by bitt
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To: qam1
If this can be done on a cruise ship, why can't it be done in a hotel?

Why can't someone work out a deal with a hotel for say $50/night for room and board for a year plus reasonable access to the hotel doctor?

This way if you don't want to get seasick and don't mind walking the same stretch of beach you could have a nicer place to live than an assisted living facility?

16 posted on 12/20/2004 6:07:24 PM PST by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: qam1

Bump for the Seasoned...


17 posted on 12/20/2004 6:09:14 PM PST by ApesForEvolution (You will NEVER convince me that Muhammadanism isn't a death cult that must end. Save your time...)
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To: Bush_Democrat

Bingo


18 posted on 12/20/2004 6:10:38 PM PST by Phantom Lord
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To: who_would_fardels_bear

The government has a heavy hand in assisted living units even though they are private pay. Hotels may not want to get involved in inspections, surveys, mandates.... A cruise line in international waters might be able to get around it.


19 posted on 12/20/2004 6:11:10 PM PST by CindyDawg (Hey aclu... Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! :'~))
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To: qam1

Would Medicare/Medicaid be paying for this?


20 posted on 12/20/2004 6:11:49 PM PST by DeepInEnemyTerritory (It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the law to become void Luke 16:17)
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To: qam1

A few years ago, several articles were published in newspapers and magazines about a retired woman who lives on the QE2. She had one of the smaller cabins, always had fun, and loved her life on the ship with all that great service and things to do, not to mention trips ashore in interesting places. She'd stay on land to visit her children now and then, then back she'd go to sea. I think it cost her less than $50k per year. I love the idea!


21 posted on 12/20/2004 6:12:44 PM PST by Veto! (Opinions freely dispensed as advice)
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To: CindyDawg
"A cruise line in international waters might be able to get around it."

What happened to the old bag who was always complaining about the medical care?

Gee those sharks over there seem to have gotten a hold of something tasty ...

22 posted on 12/20/2004 6:14:21 PM PST by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: hinckley buzzard
The only thing a cruise ship could not provide, that they have now, is proximity to family

Were I of that age bracket I'd probably view the distance as a plus ;-)
23 posted on 12/20/2004 6:14:59 PM PST by festus (The constitution may be flawed but its a whole lot better than what we have now !)
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To: StarFan; Dutchy; alisasny; BobFromNJ; BUNNY2003; Cacique; Clemenza; Coleus; cyborg; DKNY; ...
Interesting idea ping!

Please FReepmail me if you want on or off my ‘miscellaneous’ ping list.

24 posted on 12/20/2004 6:17:57 PM PST by nutmeg ("Let the UN investigate itself." - Juan Williams (Fox News) 12/10/04)
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To: qam1

Don't tell this to the nursing home industry.


25 posted on 12/20/2004 6:19:19 PM PST by cyborg (http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/flamelily.html)
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To: festus
Not me. I want to be close to my family. I live in central Indiana. Despite military assignments, colleges, and corporate transfers, all of my siblings and their families, plus my children and grandchildren, are all living close. There is nothing better than having the entire family here on Christmas Eve.

I don't think I like this idea. It reminds me of those stories of lost ships which sail forever without reaching port.

26 posted on 12/20/2004 6:21:27 PM PST by Miss Marple
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To: cyborg
Nursing homes are probably 90 plus % medicaid/medicare funded. Few private pays. This is a different group and shouldn't affect them.
27 posted on 12/20/2004 6:23:20 PM PST by CindyDawg (Hey aclu... Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! :'~))
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To: qam1

I like the idea and when the passengers die, simply dump their remains overboard with a wreath of green and it's all over. Think of it as a permanent floating buffet and a steady diet of buffets are sure to reduce the number of passengers fast. Send the Boomers first as a test.


28 posted on 12/20/2004 6:24:45 PM PST by Paulus Invictus
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To: All

A bunch of geezers traveling endlessly on a cruise ship- that was a Twilight Zone episode.


29 posted on 12/20/2004 6:25:50 PM PST by jimboster
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To: Gabz

No.


30 posted on 12/20/2004 6:26:34 PM PST by patton (Changing culture is like moving a cemetary. You don't get much help from the residents.)
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To: who_would_fardels_bear
What happened to the old bag who was always complaining about the medical care?

What a nice, respectful way to be talking about our elderly. Though, they do need to be monitored about their driving skills.

31 posted on 12/20/2004 6:31:00 PM PST by MontanaBeth (NEVER FORGET)
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To: qam1

If the entire leadership of the AARP would get on a permanent cruise to nowhere, I'd contribute money for the fare.


32 posted on 12/20/2004 6:38:19 PM PST by silverleaf (Fasten your seat belts- it's going to be a BUMPY ride.)
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Comment #33 Removed by Moderator

To: qam1

When my wife took an Alaska cruise some 15 years ago she ran into a woman whose kids had done just that for her. She spent all her time cruising, eating fine meals and being entertained onboard the ship. It can't be any more expensive than a "home." Sounds like a plan to me as long as the crew can handle the old folks without problems.


34 posted on 12/20/2004 6:45:28 PM PST by Bernard Marx (Don't make the mistake of interpreting my Civility as Servility)
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To: qam1
One pair I'd like to see on an indefinite cruise:

Michael M. Bates: My Side of the Swamp

35 posted on 12/20/2004 6:48:48 PM PST by Mike Bates (If you've been very, very good, Santa may give you. . . .)
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To: Phantom Lord

we can just throw them overboard when are done I guess...

Why dont we just have them rent rooms at Motel 6? That is cheaper than a nursing home, for sure!

< bonk> Ouch! </bonk>


36 posted on 12/20/2004 6:50:46 PM PST by RaceBannon (Jesus: Born of the Jews, through the Jews, for the sins of the World!)
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To: DeepInEnemyTerritory
Would Medicare/Medicaid be paying for this?

Of course! You really didn't think the old people would do this if they had to pay for it themselves

37 posted on 12/20/2004 6:53:36 PM PST by qam1 (Anyone who was born in New Jersey should not be allowed to drive at night or on hills.)
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To: Mike Bates
Even though I'm in complete disagreement with their political views, I think this is cute. I'm used to dealing with the ill aged and I like to see them active.
38 posted on 12/20/2004 6:54:54 PM PST by CindyDawg (Hey aclu... Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! :'~))
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To: who_would_fardels_bear

Once the government got involved, The price of keeping the eldery in either a motel or cruise ship will rapidly increase.


39 posted on 12/20/2004 6:55:36 PM PST by qam1 (Anyone who was born in New Jersey should not be allowed to drive at night or on hills.)
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To: CindyDawg
I'm used to dealing with the ill aged and I like to see them active.

Well, they certainly qualify as ill, IMHO.

40 posted on 12/20/2004 6:59:46 PM PST by Mike Bates (If you've been very, very good, Santa may give you. . . .)
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To: Phantom Lord

Just the thought of it makes me sick to my stomach. :C


41 posted on 12/20/2004 6:59:51 PM PST by Ditter
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To: night reader

And hot chicks too. If there are lots of hot chicks, I will come visit too.


42 posted on 12/20/2004 7:00:15 PM PST by krb (TANSTAAFB)
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To: Ditter
You ever seen the ship they are dreaming of?

FreedomShip.com

What is sickening about it?

43 posted on 12/20/2004 7:01:54 PM PST by Phantom Lord
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To: Phantom Lord

Ever hear of sea sick?


44 posted on 12/20/2004 7:03:15 PM PST by Ditter
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To: Ditter

Sea Sick is rare on cruise ships. They are massive ships and not subject to pitching and rolling without massive waves. Uncommonly large waves.


45 posted on 12/20/2004 7:05:11 PM PST by Phantom Lord
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To: Mike Bates

Let's just say, I like to see them able to protest but a nice cruise out at sea on election days not a bad idea:')


46 posted on 12/20/2004 7:05:54 PM PST by CindyDawg (Hey aclu... Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! :'~))
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To: CindyDawg
Let's just say, I like to see them able to protest but a nice cruise out at sea on election days not a bad idea

I can see it now. Soon, so many seniors will be enjoying retirement living on a cruise ship that after an election the cruise ship absentee balloting is so bad that Pat Buchannan was still getting votes from people from Florida. Thus congress will pass a law and seniors will have voting right on the ship.

47 posted on 12/20/2004 7:08:59 PM PST by Phantom Lord
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To: Phantom Lord

I knew you were going to say that. It doesn't take much wave action to disturb the inner ear. You would become accustomed to the movement after a while but what a horrible life. You are talking about living on that thing for years aren't you, no thanks. What would you do after you played cards 24/7 for a year, watch sea gulls?


48 posted on 12/20/2004 7:13:26 PM PST by Ditter
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To: Phantom Lord
Well my parents deprived , I guess. No cruise, no nursing homes. They are going to stay home, whether they like it or not.
49 posted on 12/20/2004 7:14:05 PM PST by CindyDawg (Hey aclu... Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! :'~))
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To: who_would_fardels_bear

If this can be done on a cruise ship, why can't it be done in a hotel?
Why can't someone work out a deal with a hotel for say $50/night for room and board for a year plus reasonable access to the hotel doctor?

This way if you don't want to get seasick and don't mind walking the same stretch of beach you could have a nicer place to live than an assisted living facility?


This was common practice in the past. General MacArthur and his widow spent their final years at the Waldorf Astoria in NY. All of the south beach hotels were essentailly converted into senior housing and then recoverted into a playground in the 1980s. Virtually any older urban hotels has its share of permanent residents.


50 posted on 12/20/2004 7:15:48 PM PST by Steven Scharf
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