Monday, December 16, 2019

Fisher House Open House

Last week we attended the annual Fisher House Open House. I have mentioned it before, but I can’t help mentioning again what a blessing the Fisher House was for us! Check out the Friends of the Fisher House West Palm Beach Facebook page if you want to know what activities are happening at the one we visited.

“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.”

It was such a delight to visit the Fisher House again and see it all decorated for Christmas. There were tons of food and lots of people who showed up for the open house. I was able to talk with some of the board members and volunteers who help at this Fisher House. It was nice to see former guests who showed up along with current guests staying there. Also attending were a lot of VA staff and local hotel representatives. If there aren’t any vacancies at the Fisher House, they will try to put families into a local hotel so I think it was important to have members of the community there to see how they can support the Fisher House. I was also thrilled to see the American Legion Riders show up with Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, and an elf!

Staff and community members who had never really seen the inside of the house were given a tour. I liked hearing what their impressions were, and many told me that it was so nice to see that families would have this place to stay close to their loved one and that it didn’t look like a hospital setting. I shared that this was very comforting to us while we were here. Shelley Prickett, the Fisher House manager, always treats us like family. When I told her how much that meant to us, she told us that once you were guests at the Fisher House, you became family! 

We were able to show a woman and her daughter how to get back to the Hospice Unit from the Fisher House and it was so wonderful to see so many people we recognized. On the way there and back to the house, people stopped to say hello to us and ask how we were doing. It was so nice to see staff on the Hospice Unit that welcomed us with open arms and lots of hugs. This was truly an example of how my father was more than just a patient and how our whole family was treated like family to the people here at the VA. Once again, I’m reminded how blessed we were that my father spent his last days here in the care of such loving people.

If you have never been to a Fisher House, find the closest one near you and contact them. Find out when they have an open house and check it out. Let those around you who are veterans know about it in case their families every have a need for it in the future. If your organization is looking for a place to support, I urge you to check out your local Fisher House. If you need to know more about my personal experience with the Fisher House, feel free to contact me and I’d be more than happy to fill your ears with praise about it!

Original photo by Pat Hensley

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