Aging in Place The IDEA Series: Airbnb Thinking Outside the Box

Beautiful teenager granddaughter visiting kind grandmother at the nursing home.

There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of the people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will have truly defeated age. 

-Sophia Loren


Post by Patrick Roden

Aging in Place The IDEA Series

As an advocate for “aging in place” I have always been promoting the positive aspects of remaining home by choice; of which there are many. But having said that, there’s two nagging issues in search of solutions—these are isolation and money.

The dangers of social isolation in older populations is well documented; from increased risk of dementia to a shortened life-span, it’s a barrier to aging well.

 Solutions to Isolation

The solutions to the isolation (and money) for aging in place are multiple and becoming more main-stream as the demographic shift makes it a national priority. Here are just a few:

  1. CoHousing
  2. Golden-girls home sharing
  3. Aging-in-place technologies
  4. Age-Friendly Design
  5. Contact The Elderly

Follow the Money

Money has always been an issue when considering aging in place. And as we hear every day in the media, most Americans have not saved enough for their retirement years. This too, is a very real threat to staying home.

So, along comes Airbnb with a potential solution (for some) to both the Isolation and Money issues related to aging in place:

Airbnb’s mission is to create a world where all 7 billion people can belong anywhere. At least a billion of those people are over 60 years old, and their decades of stories and experiences make them some of the best Airbnb hosts in our worldwide community.

 What is Airbnb? It’s a Community Built on Sharing that began in 2008 when two designers who had space to share hosted three travelers looking for a place to stay. Today, millions of hosts and travelers choose to create a free Airbnb account so they can list their space and book unique accommodations anywhere in the world. Airbnb reports to help make sharing easy, enjoyable, and safe. The business will verify personal profiles and listings, maintain a smart messaging system so hosts and guests can communicate with certainty, and manage a trusted platform to collect and transfer payments. Worldwide, there are almost one million Airbnb users are over 60. Among hosts, 10 percent of their hosts are over 60; and the senior-hosts come from all walks of life.

Airbnb Win-Win for Aging in Place

This seems to be a creative solution to overcome the social isolation/money challenges many older adults face at home.

The benefits for the 60+ Hosts:

  1. Social interaction that is multi-generational and global
  2. Mental stimulation that is so essential to the aging brain
  3. Environmental Press of having to run a B&B
  4. Income Generation to supplement Retirement

This is one of the most creative NEW solutions to aging in place in recent years…I suggest you look into it if you are 60+ and willing to experience the potential UpSide Risk.



Joe Gebbia: How Airbnb designs for trust

Celebrating Airbnb 60Host Community

How to Get Started with Airbnb


Comment 1

  1. December 31, 2015

    Thanks, Patrick, for the senior living options. Cohousing would be my preference when the time comes, as long as I pick the right personalities. I’ve lived with roommates before and have learned to be very careful selecting them.

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