Monday, June 17, 2019

The Fisher House

While we were in Florida helping my dad transition to his placement at the VA Hospice Facility, we were offered a place at The Fisher House. We had never heard of it and cautiously agreed to it because we wanted to be close to my dad.

“A Fisher House is “a home away from home” for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers. The homes are normally located within walking distance of the treatment facility or have transportation available.”

We originally planned on staying at a hotel near my parent’s house which was 30-40 minutes away from where my dad was. This would be really exhausting to go back and forth but because we were within walking distance of my dad, we were able to see him whenever we wanted because the facility had 24-hour visitation. We were able to be with him during most of his meals and in between, we could get him in a wheelchair and take him around the facility.
The house was just like a bed and breakfast inn! Our room was spacious with two beds, a desk, a reclining chair, and a large smart TV. The common rooms were the kitchen, dining room, living room, and laundry room. The kitchen was well stocked with coffee, tea, and a huge variety of food for every meal!

Shelley, the manager of The Fisher House was the perfect hostess for this place. She was so warm and welcoming that we felt instantly like family rather than an outside guest. We couldn’t have asked for a nicer person to make us feel comfortable. Sam, her sidekick, made sure we were well stocked with food. On the Friday before Father’s Day, they threw a dinner for everyone at the house and their family member at the medical facility. The food was delicious! On Saturday, we met Dawn who also worked there cleaning and preparing rooms for incoming guests. She helped me figure out how to use the washer and dryer.

It seemed like at every turn, they were there checking that we had everything we needed.

I’m so grateful for The Fisher House and everyone involved in making our stay so awesome! We were already under a lot of stress dealing with my stepmom’s death and then having to admit my dad here on the same day. Everyone at the VA worked hard to make this transition easier for all of us and it was truly comforting during this traumatic period. It is such a comfort to be able to check on my father whenever we want to and not be exhausted with worrying about traveling to and from the facility. We are able to spend a lot of quality time with him! 

Thanks to the VA and The Fisher House!

If you’ve ever stayed at a Fisher House, please share your experience.

Original Photos by Pat Hensley

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