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 Jonathan Soto, Texas A&M Kingsville
It is through mechanical engineering that I believe it is possible to create and distribute machines that will help those we are elderly while making them more independent. There are some machines already on the market such as a seat that carries you down the stairs so you do not injure yourself. It is because of mechanical engineers that machines like this have come into place and I feel like my major of study has so much to offer the elderly in contraptions that can make their lives that much easier. Independence will also be a big part of whatever machines that do come from the field of mechanical engineering since the machines that are produced will allow the elderly to be able to take on tasks that were otherwise either unsafe or downright impossible to accomplish on their own. One of the biggest and most ambitious achievements that seems to be coming from the engineering world for the elderly is robots that can help the elderly walk, get out of bed, or even carry them if need be. This innovation is coming from and currently being planned by Toyota and will be a big step in mechanics and technology towards helping the elderly. These advances will of course be a collaboration of work from a variety of different fields in engineering, but it will certainly take the contributions of mechanical engineers to make machines like this a reality. It may even be possible in the future to make machines that make it so that the elderly are fully independent and can enjoy the things in life that they had come to love when they were not bound by their limitations that are brought about by age. Truly this would be a remarkable achievement and help to serve those who long to be able to take a morning walk again or to even travel around the world with the ability to walk around without so much strain. It could ease the minds of are unable to walk or stand and let them focus on tasks that can help them live out their years in enjoyment, rather than focusing on what they can’t do. These are all possibilities that will hopefully be made available to the public if the field of engineering continues to take step after step towards technological breakthroughs. Should we be able to make machines that can help the elderly literally get back on their feet, one could say that it could even spread on to people who are not elderly but still need help. These would include those who are wheel chair bound as well as other people who have come to be disabled. If we are to have this become our future it will take the work of all kinds of engineers around the world to make this possible. This is why I feel that the profession of mechanical engineering has so much to offer not only the elderly, but the for all of the people around the world.
Jonathan is currently enrolled in Texas A&M Kingsville for mechanical engineering.