Cruising to Assisted Living

January 2005
Journal of Financial Planning;Jan2005, Vol. 18 Issue 1, p18
Academic Journal
This article suggests that financial planners choose cruising over the standard assisted-living option they sometimes plan for elderly clients. The November 2004 issue of 'The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society' carried an article comparing the 20-year cost of cruising year-round versus 20 years of assisted living. The costs were not all that far apart: $230,497 for a double-occupancy cabin on a typical cruise ship versus $228,075 for the average assisted living facility. And the amenities on a cruise are equal or often superior to those in assisted living, including outstanding meals, medical facilities, housekeeping, and laundry, to say nothing of the social activities. We are not exactly clear how the ship's crew would provide support for some of those activities of daily living the elderly cannot do, such as toileting, but the concept sounds intriguing, anyway. One of the article's authors, a geriatrician at Northwestern University, Lee Lindquist, believes that cruise ships might actually be healthier places for residents because the sun, socialization, and the presence of younger people on board would combat the high percentage of depression found among those in assisted-living facilities. The question is, will long-term care insurance pay for it?


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