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 Lawrence VanHook

Many people misunderstand the actual purpose of what an AT (Athletic Trainer) does. Most people assume that an Athletic Trainer has duties around actual training or the strength and conditioning of clients or athletes, but that is more aligned with what Personal Training or Strength and Conditioning Specialists do. From the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), “Athletic training encompasses the prevention, diagnosis, and intervention of emergency, acute and chronic medical conditions involving impairment, functional limitations and disabilities.” From this definition of what an AT is, it is evident that there are many responsibilities and duties on the list of areas to learn. Because of the broad amount of responsibilities ATs have, this optimizes the knowledge of how to respond in a vast amount of situations such as utilizing nutrition habits or emergency situations and disabilities. To ensure that this information is acquired, it is important to be in an accredited AT Program at an undergraduate university like the one I’m in at LMU. Technically any person can take classes surrounding Health Care at a college and say that they are an AT. Though any person can take a couple of classes that certified athletic trainers take, this does not mean that they have the knowledge that is required to be effective. Through passing the BOC (Board of Certification) Test, Athletic Training Majors can confirm that they are ready for the various tasks that Athletic Trainers are supposed to handle and can officially put the title Certified Athletic Trainer after their name. This is the accreditation I will be receiving once I graduate and pass the BOC.  The qualifications and preparedness of a Certified Athletic Trainer are a large part of what people receiving In-Home Care need as they get older in age.

Not every In-Home Care recipient is the same. One person can have very different needs for the care than next. These needs can pertain to issues such as muscular atrophy, osteoarthritis, or any type of disability such as vision, mental or movement. Though there can be several needs for In-Home Care, through Athletic Training you can be more prepared for the various types of clients and the types of emergency situations that come with them. Not to say that Athletic Trainers will be immediately ready to be In-Home Care providers. There are many other factors that are necessary to be this type of care provider, but the skills of an AT are very crucial to keeping the client safe and healthy.  If a student graduates with a Certification in Athletic Training, then from there they could easily be trained to be an In-Home Care provider with experience in a Health Care field. The care recipient will be able to get the care that they need, and on top of that they receive the added comfort of someone who can aid in some of the issues which they would normally need the aid or advice a of physician. Those with an Athletic Training Certification can also very easily go into nursing or physical therapy which specifically works with the clients that need care and may have medications they need to take or exercises that they need to perform. Even if a person wants to continue as an Athletic Trainer they can still assist with the training of the care providers when they learn about First Aid in the In-Home Care Accreditation course. Athletic Training is imperative when it comes to improving the health and safety of the seniors receiving In-Home Care services.


About Lawrence

Lawrence is currently a Junior Athletic Training Major at LMU (Loyola Marymount University) in Los Angeles, CA.

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