Lodging near the transplant center
Since the only BMT facility for children and teens in Washington is in Seattle, many families need to relocate for their child’s transplant. As a safety measure, transplant centers commonly require that family live no more than a 20-30 minute commute away from the hospital and/or outpatient center. Here, this is calculated as the distance from the SCCA outpatient facility in the South Lake Union neighborhood, and from Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center (CHRMC) in Laurelhurst where your child’s transplant will take place.
Will you need to make double housing payments?
Some families who know in advance that they will be coming to Seattle for their child’s transplant may like to start planning in advance to arrange housing, as this is a major expense. Not only are housing costs high in Seattle, but families will need to continue to pay their rent or mortgage of their home residence. Some private health insurance plans and the WA and AK Medicaid programs offer a lodging benefit for patients undergoing treatment away from home, so be sure to verify if you have such coverage and/or ask your case manager about this.
When considering housing options, take into account both your budget and your family’s needs. It is very important to find clean, secure housing where high standards of hygiene can be maintained to protect the patient, and which is also convenient to in-patient and out-patient facilities And other services. Factors to consider are how many people, besides the patient, will be coming? Will separate bedrooms be needed for children and adults according to gender or age? Will you need parking space for a car? A variety of ordinary and residential hotels, and rental units are available; some offer special discounts to patient families and/or according to length of stay. Others may offer daily housekeeping services, complimentary breakfast, daily shuttle services; some are in walking distance of shopping and other amenities. Some families have found it to be more economical to stay in an extended-stay residence, while others have found they got a lot of support from staying in a building with other families with loved ones also undergoing transplant. Still other families have chosen to combine lodging with transportation, and rented (or sometimes bought) a brand-new recreational vehicle for the duration of their stay.
The followng information and resources may be helpful as you begin your research on housing options during transplant:
SCCA: Patient and Family Support: Housing
Includes an overview of options, with links to About Housing Options in Seattle which offers comparisons by price and features and a Housing List which is updated frequently.
CHMRC: Neighborhood Services: Hotels
Describes a range of services and businesses, including lodging, located near the hospital and/or available to patient families.
Seattle Convention and Visitors Bureau
Non-commercial housing options available to SCCA transplant patients include:
Seattle Ronald McDonald House adjacent to CHRMC has special units for a limited number of HCT patients and their families. RMH is open to those living 60 or more miles from Seattle (and to those who would need to travel by ferry from local islands) asks for $20/family/night; no one will be turned away due to inability to pay. There may be limits on length of stay due to the high demand for housing. Families cannot make advance reservations for RMH, and are asked to contact the facility to get onto a wait list as soon as they have an arrival date. Please visit the RMH website for full details on eligibility, and application process or call (206) 838-0600.
Pete Gross House is an apart-hotel type facility run for SCCA patients and their families, and offers 70 fully-furnished units of varied sizes at slightly-below market rates. PGH is located in the South Lake Union area, and offers a weekday-only shuttle service to the SCCA clinic, UWMC, and CHRMC, as it is not in easy walking distance for most people. PGH is about 7 miles from CHRMC. A special housing fund may help cover the costs of a stay at PGH for those eligible. Families are advised to get on the waiting list for a unit at PGH as soon as they have an arrival date in Seattle. Full details on the facility, fees, and rental process may be found on the PGH website or by calling (206) 262-1000.