About the SeniorAdvisor.com 2014 In-Home Innovation Scholarship: We started the scholarship program to bring awareness of the unique benefits and challenges of in-home caregiving for seniors to younger generations. The questions posed by the scholarship encouraged our nation’s future caregivers to present solutions for improving home care in the United States. College-aged students were required to answer one of the three essay topics below and provide a short bio as part of their scholarship application. Read the winning essays here.
How can your major of study improve the lives of seniors receiving in-home care services?
Essay response by Angelo Valencia, University of New Mexico
I believe technology is a big advancement in society today. We surround ourselves by technology every single day and sometimes people cannot function without it. I believe the healthcare industry incorporating technology to improve home care for American seniors would be of great benefit. Being a college student and being fortunate to have elder grandparents and great grandparents, I have experienced the, “How does this cell phone work?” question many times. Although, some elders may not like technology, I feel it would be of great benefit because of the ability to do so much with little effort. Some elders do not have the strength to lift heavy objects and with technological advancement, a push of a button can make this possible. In this essay I am going to talk about movement of patients and how this can implement technology in the healthcare industry to improve in-home care for American seniors.
The healthcare industry has many options in incorporating technology to better assist in-home care patients. Technological advances in equipment that can help move in-home care patients from location to location would be of great help. From past experience I know that sometimes it is difficult to transport elder seniors from the car to different locations. Automated wheelchairs along with inventions such as the Hoveround give seniors the convenience of moving easily along with their daily activities. Technology can be put into almost anything that deals with daily activities. For example, taking the in-home care senior to doctor’s appointments can be easily done through the use of technology. For “minor” check-ups seniors won’t even have to leave the comfort of their home. T.V. screens along with live action footage can show the doctor through their location at the hospital. The senior who is in in-home care can ask the doctor appropriate questions all through this “live feed” without moving an inch. The doctor can provide feedback and answer all questions the in-home care senior has. The advancement in healthcare industry technology will drastically improve in-home care for American seniors because of less tedious doctors appointments visits, along with time to better assist seniors living with in-home care.
I know some seniors living with in-home care like leaving their homes for appointments and errands because it is the only time they really get to do so. Technological advances can also be used to move the senior to different locations in there own home. My great grandmother who is very frail has to be lifted to different locations throughout the household and technology can help better this “situation.” A “lifter” can better assist in-home caregivers to move seniors from place to place. This can be a crane like device with a chair that seniors can sit in and with a remote, can easily left them to another mobility chair that can take them around the house. This can drastically improve in-home care because it can prevent fallings or at least lower the number of fallings by seniors. It can also help caregivers by making them less fatigued and not having to lift a senior possibly hurting themselves. Safety is a big concern with in-home care and any technological input that is going to better the lives of the senior and caregiver would be a great factor to implement in in-home caregiving.
As a student who has multiple family members who are being taken care of through in-home care I know this type of care is very important. Any advances that better in-home care are great because of the dependence and support of in-home care. As an individual sometimes I over look how tough in-home care can be for the caregiver and the senior. Advances in technology in the healthcare industry, I’m sure, would be greatly appreciated by all families and parties involved. Multiple technological advances that are implemented in in-home care such as increased mobility and everyday living activities would have great benefits in the short and long term. These advances can lead seniors to more healthier and relaxed lives. I know seniors share much wisdom to the young and are cared for by many and anything that betters the seniors lives in in-home care is a big plus.
Angelo is currently attending the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Angelo is looking to pursue a degree in business management and pharmacy.