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 Melissa Reynolds
Most senior citizens want to remain as independent as possible for as long as possible, but unfortunately, that can’t always happen. As a result many seniors have to receive help from others, and although family members are great they have their own jobs to pay for their own issues, so seniors need help from in-home services care providers.
I’m majoring in accounting, and accounting can affect the lives of seniors receiving in-home care services in a variety of ways. Accountants can look over a senior citizen’s finances or a senior citizen’s family’s financial records to see how much money is available and how liquid some assets are. The more liquid an asset is the easier it is to turn the asset into cash. The more money that is freely available the more can go to paying for senior citizens to receive in-home care services.
Accountants can also look at someone’s finances to see if they need to cut back on something like, buying a new car or remodeling their apartment. Accountants can also help file taxes for seniors and make sure they receive a sizeable tax rebate to help finance in-home care services. Accountants can also find unnecessary costs are eradicate them and then there would be more money to help pay for in-home care.
They can also help senior citizens use programs from the government like Social Security and Medicare to receive help paying for in-home care services. A sizeable portion of the nation’s tax revenue goes to caring for senior citizens, through programs like Social Security, Medicare, some grants too, and Medicaid, if they live at or below the poverty level. It’s simply a matter of utilizing the resources that are already out there. There are also other nongovernment programs like AARP to help the elderly as well. I’m sure there are other programs that would help former soldiers and veterans either by receiving discounts or providing free services. Not to mention, the varying programs available through insurance. If a senior citizen is eligible for one or all of the aforementioned programs then that would significantly lower the cost of paying for an in-home care service. In addition, the use of those programs would not only lead to seniors receiving in-home care but quality in-home care services from certified companies and organizations, insuring that they receive the best care available.
In the event that a senior citizen doesn’t qualify for any financial aid then there are still other options. One is going to a bank and asking for a loan, or applying for a second mortgage. If those options don’t work, then maybe investing in stock and then selling those stocks at a higher percentage would work. Also, investing in short term to long term bonds could help finance in-home care services. Those options would help pay for in-home care services.
Accountants can help seniors pay for in-home care services by looking at a person’s financial records and examining the assets and liabilities and hopefully there are more assets than liabilities to help pay for in-home service care.
Another way accountants can help is by telling the senior citizens to examine the schedule of their family members to reduce the cost of having an in-home care specialist all day every day. If the family could help out just a few hours, that would reduce the overall cost.
Melissa is currently enrolled as a sophomore at George Mason University.