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.

What is the top challenge facing in-home care in your city, and what is your proposed solution?

Essay response by Megan Sherven

Mayville and Portland, North Dakota are small communities. However, the two towns do share a nursing home. The majority of the residents of the small town are either elderly or college students because Mayville is known for the university. Therefore, the nursing home faces the challenge of finding enough employees to care for their residents in the home, along with finding care for the elderly who choose to live at home with care. The nursing home does offer CNA classes at the college and for the community and does reimburse the people who do take the classes and work for them for a certain period of time. Because the nursing home pays their CNAs well, the employees are more than willing to work as a CNA instead of working at another job that pays less. Even though in-home-care workers care for the residents as well as CNAs, they get paid less than them.

To avoid the conflict of the employee to resident ratio, the two towns could increase the income for in-home-care employees. In fact, recently in Mayville, the town hired four students to care for a resident in her home and the employees also are offered a good income to care for her. To receive more employees, towns need to take into consideration the care that the employees will actually provide and the employees should be paid for the care that they provide. It is understandable to pay an employee a lower wage if they do not provide much care. The pay of an in-home-care provider should be determined on how much care is actually provided. That is why most in-home-cares are experiencing the struggle to find care providers.

About Megan

Megan is studying Early Childhood Education at Mayville State University.

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