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 Rena Adams
I am a Business graduate student at the University of Houston Clearlake. I received my undergraduate degree at the University of Texas at Austin in Sociology. I decided to get my undergraduate degree in sociology because I wanted to know more about the world around me. I learned a lot more than just that, I learned about people’s cultures, beliefs, religions, norms, thoughts and feelings.
When you begin to get to know someone, you start to care more and more about their life. People just don’t get old; they had whole lives before they got to the place. When you can see an older person and know that they had whole lives just like you and then you realize you too will be in their place one day. This is why it is really important to help older people, because they are individuals just like you and I. When you start to think of them as that then you will know what they need, you will have to think about what you will need. What would you need when you are at an elderly age? How will you feel? Would you be scared? Would you want a lot of people around you? Would you want to feel loved? Would you want to be properly taken care of by strangers or by loved ones? Would you want to feel hurt and pain all day? These are proper questions to ask you when trying to figure out the top challenge facing in home care in my city.
I actually have a lot of help when trying to answer this question because I have an elderly mother who is 65 years old. My sister and I were adopted at a very young age by an elderly couple who took out their time to help two children who desperately needed help. I know as people get older they get wiser and a lot of time they become more helpful to the world. Those same people will need our help one day and it is essential that we help the best ways that we know how. Not only did my adopted mother take us in she is now caring for her mother which is my grandmother. My grandmother is 101 years old and she is an in home care patient in Jasper TX. Jasper is a small town. It is mainly a town for elderly people so they can have a place to call home without having to travel far to get to the places they need to go. So I have been around elderly people my whole life and I know what they need. Elderly people need to feel loved. They need to feel as though they are at peace. One of the important ways to get that is being with the people they love and in home care is the perfect situation to help do just that. Medicare and Medicaid and other forms of healthcare insurance help the elderly get the supplies and equipment they need such as wheelchairs, diapers, wipes, pads, Hoyer lifts etc. So insurance I would say is not a problem. The problem would be getting good professional workers to come into the home and help the elderly when the loved ones are at work or not at home. Most people I know have this same problem, they cannot find good workers that come and stay. There need to be more trained enthusiasm workers who love their job and those workers need to have more of an incentive to stay at their jobs. Most of the workers I know would just come and do a little and leave, they would not stay and talk with their patients are show them that they care. It was just a job to them. So the most important thing would be good positive human capital that not only does their job well, but like doing their job.
Rena is a Business graduate student at the University of Houston Clearlake.