The Industry

Will Retirement Hostels Be the Next Big Thing?

Dennis Pitcock
Written by Dennis Pitcock

older-people-in-tubThis topic actually started off as a joke, but the more I said it, the greater of an idea it began to sound. With retirement becoming increasingly more expensive and medical advances are ever increasing our lifetime expectations, many retirees are questioning whether they want to pick one place to finish off their last days. These future “Silver Hostels” could provide a refreshing alternative, especially considering the following:

Perhaps by then, the word “youth” will finally be dissociated with hostels too!

Most retirement homes have quite complex activity schedules compared to most hostels today. They pride themselves on the activities they offer, and how they are able to keep their residents.  These activities include physical activities, games, meals, drinks, and entertainment. We can easily see how this model can apply to a ‘silver hostel,’ with even more enthusiasm, as the hostel model can introduce new participants at any time.

Activities won’t be enough. Retirement home residents have more demands than hostel guests, and they deserve it. On top of a dense activity schedule, you can expect these hostels to offer amenities unheard of before. Think of 24 hour nurses, tech assistants for helping them keep up with the newest gadgets, special visitation facilities, a universal chapel, and perhaps even their own hospice. OK, not that far but you get the idea.

Retirement communities are a multi-billion dollar industry in the US and UK alone, but why should people spend the last of their days on one spot.  Retirement hostels can introduce people to new locations, while having some consistency in facilities and expectations no matter where they go.  This way, they can have their cake, and eat it too. They can visit one close to their family, but travel when the family is busy. They can spend summers in the mountains and the winders in the warm locations. The sky is the limit really.

The film, The Exotic Marigold Hotel was onto something, but was a little limited by being called a hotel. It would be better suited as a hostel, just with more private rooms. The infrastructure is already there. Imagine if the top retirement communities offered a wing or even a few rooms towards the cause, and created some kind of exchange program where residents can switch places. As it gets popular, then offer a place for some transients to stay too. The concept could really take off, allowing our elders to see the world and meet like-minded individuals in the later stages of life. Silver hostels could be the next best thing, and I hope they’re an option by the time I retire. Perhaps by then, the word “youth” will finally be dissociated with hostels too!

About the author

Dennis Pitcock

Dennis Pitcock

Dennis jumped into the hostel industry after a summer backpacking Europe in 2008. He went from being a guest to a manager within weeks, and currently does consulting for large and small hostels alike in 3 continents. Prior, he worked in eCommerce, so he has passion for the tech side of the industry and is now deeply entrenched in the hostel and activities industry.

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