Finding Stability

Assistance for Cancer Patients With Travel: Lodging and Amenities

Hospital-provided accommodations and hospitality homes provide assistance for cancer patients with travel, allowing you and your family to focus on your health and treatment.

If your cancer treatment takes a family member far from home, travel expenses can add up quickly — especially lodging. This adds another emotional and financial burden. Thankfully, some programs offer assistance for cancer patients with travel.

Though booking a hotel might seem like the easiest choice, many organizations offer affordable lodging for patients and caregivers. This assistance can help you focus on your loved one’s health, treatment and healing.

Here are three options to consider.

Hospital-Provided Lodging

Start by asking your family member’s medical center about lodging. Many provide assistance for cancer patients with travel and may offer free or low-cost accommodations that are close to the medical center. Often, there’s staff available who can give support and connect patients and families to additional educational or support services.

For example, at UVA, patients and family members who live more than 60 miles away can stay at the UVA Hospitality House at an affordable price. The Hospitality House furnishes the comforts of home — kitchen, laundry and living rooms — to ease some of the day-to-day worries. Most importantly, the House provides a refuge for guests and an opportunity to meet others who are in a similar situation.

Hospitality Housing

Nonprofit organizations also offer free or low-cost accommodations for caregivers and their loved ones who are receiving medical treatment far from home. Like hospital-provided lodging, these hospitality homes feature the comforts of home and alleviate some of the stress and financial burden of a challenging time.

  • Hope Lodge: The American Cancer Society operates 30 Hope Lodges across the United States and in Puerto Rico. Though eligibility varies, generally families can stay for free while the patient receives treatment.
  • Ronald McDonald House: These houses accommodate the families of pediatric patients at little or no cost. Families must be referred by the medical staff or social workers.
  • Healthcare Hospitality Network: This national network of 200 nonprofit organizations houses eligible families of patients at little or no cost.
  • Fisher House: Families of military personnel or veterans receiving care at a major military or Veterans Affairs (VA) medical center may be able to stay for free at a Fisher House. There are 78 Fisher Houses across the United States.

Discount Programs at Nearby Hotels

Hotels can be expensive, especially in major cities, but hospitals and medical centers may have negotiated discounted rates — be sure to ask your oncology social worker.

You can also check Joe’s House, a nonprofit that provides assistance for cancer patients with travel and lodging. Their website lists lodging options for patients and family members, many of which have a medical discount.

If cancer treatment takes you or a family member far from home, hotels aren’t your only options. Hospital-provided accommodations and hospitality homes can be a more affordable and comforting option, allowing you and your family to focus on health and treatment.

Lodging assistance is just one way caregivers can receive the support they need to care for their loved ones. UVA Cancer Center offers various other support services for caregivers.

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Christine Yu