Recently, a friend told me how worried she was about her mother. “It looks like my father’s going to be in hospital for another two months,” she said. “But it’s taking my mother 90 minutes to drive in to the city every morning. She’s 72 – she can’t keep that up for two more months.”
As the population ages, these situations are becoming increasingly common: One spouse is stuck in a specialized hospital for an extended period, and the other spouse is forced to commute back and forth every day, making an already stressful situation even worse.
Furnished apartments make sense in all kinds of situations
Many people think of furnished accommodation – often known as ‘executive suites’ – as something only used by business travellers or divorcing spouses, but our suites are a great option in many healthcare-related situations, too. Many of our suites have easy access to hospitals (some within walking distance), which means less time and stress lost to travel. Corporate housing suites have kitchens, so the non-hospitalized family members aren’t reliant on expensive (and sometimes nutritionally lacking) hospital or takeout food. Most important for many of our guests is that suites are larger than hotel rooms, which means that additional family members can come on weekends for a few days without extra cost, or even advance planning.
Here are just a few of the healthcare-related reasons guests have stayed with us recently:
- The mother of a woman pregnant with triplets who was hospitalized with pre-eclampsia for 6 weeks before the birth of her children. The mother was able to stay around the corner and spend whole days with her daughter – which made a real difference to the daughter’s state of mind
- A 50-something couple from Sudbury. The wife was being treated for brain cancer at St Margaret’s Hospital, and while she didn’t need to stay in the hospital, she did have to go there several times a week. She had the support she needed; they both experienced a lot less stress by not having to make multiple trips back and forth
- A young woman and her mother stayed in one of our suites for a month while they recovered from cosmetic surgery procedures. They had come to Toronto to be treated by a well-regarded plastic surgeon, and staying in town made it easy for them to go to their follow-up visits. And it meant they didn’t have to do much housekeeping or driving – they were able to focus on their recovery
- The adult children of an elderly couple who were in the process of transitioning from a large family home (which they had to sell) into a retirement home. Having access to an apartment in town for a month meant that the adult children could give their parents the support they needed without facing long drives home late at night – and the siblings told us they really enjoyed having time together the way they did as kids
When someone in your family is seriously ill or hospitalized, sometimes the biggest stress isn’t worrying about their health – it’s about how to manage the driving, the stress, the finances and the emotional health of both the sick person and everyone around them. Furnished accommodation can’t solve every problem, but it can certainly reduce some of the stress.