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 Diana Bailon
As a geriatric nurse, I will provide personalized care to improve the quality of life for senior patients. By focusing my efforts in home health care, I will encourage and motivate senior patients in all areas of their lives, and meet their specific needs. By providing care in the comfort of their own homes, patients can be better given and taught the tools needed to rehabilitate, while having the support of a friend.
Geriatric patients can be difficult due to their complex physical and mental health needs. As a nurse I would advocate and protect a patient’s health, and help them cope with the changes in their mental and physical abilities in order to keep senior patients independent and active as long as possible. When working as a nurse, I will assess patients’ mental status and cognitive skills, and discuss and address common health concerns such as falls, and incontinence. I would make sure their fundamental levels of needs are met. For example, I will make sure all patients’ physiological needs are met. If oxygen levels are low, I will make sure the patient has access to oxygen therapy, such as concentrators and portable tanks. As part of the health care team, I will communicate with caregivers and assure quality meals are being served. As part of safety control, I will make sure patients’ activities of daily living are facilitated through special equipment such as walkers.
As a case manager, I will communicate with all levels of the health care team to create a specialized care plan. As a geriatric nurse, I will help design and explain health care regimens to patients and their families. I will educate, explain and recommend any adjustments related to patients care to patient and caregivers as geriatric patients have a variety of often mistreated health conditions and needs. I will help organize medications, assist in managing changes in diet, and attain special equipment such as walkers. I would take on the role as a case manager to assist families to community resources and make sure all their needs are met.
As a nurse, I will influence and drive patients to improve their activities of daily living through a specialized care plan that I will constantly adjust as their mental and health status changes. I will improve their quality of life by assessing, communicating, and encouraging patient and family to take part in the care plan. The care plan will be individualized to respect their cultural and religious beliefs. I will be available for my clients and their families, and establish an easy form of communication with them as a way to keep the plan of care updated.
Being surrounded by comforts of their own home, using special equipment for ADL’s, and encouraging patient and family to take part of the care plan will improve the lives of seniors receiving in-home care services.
Diana is working on obtaining her nursing degree.