Home Away From Home for Cancer Patients
The American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge in Salt Lake City gives cancer patients and their caregivers access to a free home away from home during their cancer treatments.
“Some of the individuals stay here for six weeks to three months, or even longer,” says Aimee Frost, senior manager at Hope Lodge Salt Lake City. “They have so much to worry about, both here and back at home. We are glad to be able to give them a place that they can stay and not have to worry about one more thing.”
There are more than 30 Hope Lodges in the United States, but the Salt Lake City location is the only one in the Intermountain West. The next closest is in Phoenix, Arizona.
Help for Patients
Cancer patients who are older than 18 receiving treatment more than 40 miles away from home can be referred to Hope Lodge to stay for free during active treatment. The facility is conveniently located at 375 E. 100 South, one mile from LDS Hospital and three miles from the Huntsman Cancer Institute (though guests at Hope Lodge are also treated at other hospitals).
All patients who stay at Hope Lodge are referred by a hospital. “Any hospital that does cancer treatments is able to send us referrals,” Frost says. “They can go through the eligibility criteria with the patient and send in the application on their behalf, so the patient doesn’t have to worry about it.”
Eligibility is based on the patient’s treatment plan and distance from home. “There are no financial qualifications,” Frost says. “People working at the hospital listen to the patients and if someone asks about lodging, they can refer them to us.”
Home Away From Home
Guests stay in their own private suite with a living area, bedroom, full bathroom and a closet. Linens are provided, and laundry facilities are located on each floor.
“We provide some necessities like a hotel would, but we provide much more than that,” Frost says. “Not necessarily physically, but emotionally and mentally.”
The Hope Lodge has one common dining room with several kitchens. Each kitchen is furnished with pots, pans, dishes and utensils. Patients and their caregivers bring their own food and eat in the dining room.
“It’s large enough that those who don’t feel well can sit on their own,” Frost says. “But there are also big family tables. A lot of guests sit at them, talking about their day and what’s going on. It’s just a time for them to kick their shoes off and relax and not worry about the stresses of the day.”
How You Can Help
Since Hope Lodge offers housing to its patrons free of charge, they are always accepting donations of goods, time, and funds. In fact, Hope Eccles helped immensely by leading the fundraising efforts to build the lodge in 2015.
Monetary contributions can be sent using the red button on the American Cancer Society’s website, cancer.org. You can specify that your donation go specifically to the Salt Lake City Hope Lodge.
Volunteer opportunities for both individuals and groups are listed on the Salt Lake City Hope Lodge’s Facebook page, Facebook.com/HopeLodgeSLC. Donations of physical goods are also accepted. An Amazon wish list with needed supplies is posted on the Facebook page.