Mesothelioma and other cancers are tough to manage, but when you need to be away from your home in order to receive the best treatment available, dealing with the disease becomes even more difficult. Simply put, everyone would rather be home when they’re not feeling well, comfortable within the confines of their own house, surrounded by good friends and close family members.
Sometimes, however, this is not an option. Not everyone is fortunate enough to live in an area where there is care available for their particular type of cancer, including malignant mesothelioma- which is relatively rare.. With rare cancers like these, there are fewer experts available as there might be with more common types of the disease. Hence, travel is often necessary in order to take advantage of that rare knowledge.
With that said, finding housing when you’re away from home isn’t always easy. Not only can it be tough to find a suitable place close to the hospital, but lodging is often quite expensive and not always covered by medical insurance policies. Hence, the financial burden – as well as the physical inconvenience – adds more to the load that might already be overwhelming. But there are options available, though research will be necessary.
Finding Out-of-Town Housing
As is the case with most mesothelioma cancer resources, when searching for short-term or long-term housing near the hospital to which you are traveling for treatment, check with the hospital social worker first. Often, these hospitals – especially the major cancer centers – have their own housing facility for cancer patients or have partnerships with local apartments, hotels, or other establishments that allow patients to secure housing for a reasonable price.
If the hospital does not have a formal agreement with an area vendor, call area hotels and fill them in as to your situation. You’ll find that many all-suite hotels with kitchenettes, separate living areas, and multiple bedrooms offer special deals for patients at nearby medical facilities with prices far lower than one would normally pay to stay there.
Thanks to the internet, however, there are a variety of other ways to find lodging for traveling patients who may be away from home for an extended period of time. Sites like Joe’s House (www.joeshouse.org) are a central hospitality resource for cancer patients from all around the country. This website, in particular, lists more than 2,000 lodging options for cancer patients in 46 states, many of them large chain hotels with which the site has partnered.
The American Cancer Society has also established a network of “lodges” where cancer patients and their families can stay when they are traveling out of town for their treatments. Known as Hope Lodges, these facilities provide a home-away-from-home for these patients, creating a nurturing environment and loving atmosphere for these sick individuals.
Currently, there are some 30 Hope Lodges located throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, and more are in the planning stages. A stay at a lodge is available free of charge for anyone who is undergoing mesothelioma treatment on an outpatient basis and lives at least 40 miles or a one-hour drive time from the treatment facility. Rooms are private with private bathrooms as well and the lodges have common areas that include full kitchens, laundry facilities, and more. Patients are encouraged to bring along a caregiver and are responsible for basics such as supplying toiletries, clothing, and food.
To secure a room at a Hope Lodge, the patient must be referred by a health care professional or social worker. Often, there are waiting lists, so patients are encouraged to apply before treatments begin as patients are accepted on a first come, first served basis only.Sources
American Cancer Society – Hope Lodges