An extended family health crisis can add untold amounts of stress on patients and families alike. Not only is there the concern for the patient’s well-being, but the added financial pressure of healthcare and medical expenses can take a huge toll on the family, as well. Occasionally, the best treatment can’t be found at local facilities, and the patient may need to spend time at a specialized facility in another city or state. This means finding short-term lodging for the patient and the family members who accompany him/her — all adding up to even more expenses.
How can family members juggle all these details and extra expenses when all they want to do is be there to support their loved one during treatment? The good news is that if you’re going through something like this, there are housing options available that you might not have considered. Some of these options can save you money over expensive hotels, and some can even function as a home-away-from-home. Let’s explore some short-term medical lodging resources for patients and their families, discussing some of the advantages and possible disadvantages of each.
For most people, the default option for temporary, out-of-town lodging is a hotel or motel. The problem is that these hotels come at a premium cost, and even those properties designed for extended stays can add up quickly in price. The good news is that sometimes medical healthcare facilities negotiate special discounts with nearby hotels to help offset the cost (ask your healthcare facility for a list of options).
- Advantages: Using medical discounts at a hotel is a quick, convenient way to answer the question of where you’re going to stay so you can give more attention to your loved one. The discounts are sometimes significant and can lessen the financial burden.
- Disadvantages: Even at discounted rates, hotels can be costly — and the cheaper ones with fewer amenities frequently aren’t comfortable enough for longer stays. Unless you’re staying in a suite, spending weeks in a single room can also add stress to an already difficult situation.
Hospital-Affiliated Housing/Non-profit Groups
Some healthcare facilities also have set up some form of specialized housing for families to stay in at discounted rates while their loved one undergoes treatment. This housing is often set up to feel as home-like as possible (although there are some limitations), and they are often specialized to accommodate a certain type of illness (for example, cancer treatment). There are also non-profit organizations that provide temporary housing for families in health crises for little or no cost. (Ronald McDonald House is an excellent example, providing housing for families with sick children.)
- Advantages: Hospital-affiliated and charitable housing are geared to making a healthcare crisis easier on the family. They are deliberately close to the facility (either across the street or in walking distance), provide home-like facilities and sometimes even meals, and can greatly reduce the cost of short-term lodging.
- Disadvantages: Due to great demand, these housing options are frequently limited on space and availability. They also may restrict admittance to families dealing with a specific type of healthcare issue.
Shared Housing Platforms (e.g. Airbnb)
In recent years, another housing option has emerged that can help families find home-like conditions out of town at a reasonable cost. Using an online platform or app like Airbnb, families can rent fully furnished homes and apartments made available by their owners. These come at a variety of price points, but they are generally comparable to or cheaper than hotels.
- Advantages: Airbnb and similar platforms help families find actual residences to stay in, including fully equipped kitchens so families can do their own cooking. The home-like surroundings make it easier to stay for longer periods of time.
- Disadvantages: While these platforms are taking steps to improve quality control, it’s often a “buyer beware” situation. Lodging options may not always be as advertised, and individual service may vary.
Short-term Corporate Housing
One highly effective housing option that often goes overlooked is to work with a short-term corporate housing agency, one that specializes in providing furnished residences for stays lasting longer than a week to several months. Businesses often use these agencies to provide housing for traveling employees, but they can be a great option for patients and families, as well. The agency arranges for the family to stay in a fully furnished apartment (often with luxury amenities) for a fraction of the cost of hotel stays.
- Advantages: Corporate lodging can add up to significant savings for families in medical crises while providing an actual, fully furnished residence to stay in. Since the housing company oversees the details, quality control is greatly improved over Airbnb and similar options, as well.
Whether you or a loved one is undergoing rehab, fighting cancer or dealing with some other debilitating illness, the last thing you need is to face unnecessary financial burdens associated with your extended stay lodging. If you or your loved one requires treatment in Atlanta or Jacksonville, TP Corporate Lodging can provide high-quality corporate lodging for the family at very reasonable rates. To learn more, call us today at 800.428.9997.