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 Samantha Neeld

I am returning to school for my BSN and this field of study relates to seniors receiving in-home care immensely. Nurses are those providing care for the elderly at home. Currently, I work in a Neuro ICU and get to see firsthand how much care patients require in the hospital after a dramatic, life changing medical event. After they are cleared and considered medically stable to leave the ICU and return home, this is the time when the patient’s life and rehabilitation journey truly begin. The hospital is a controlled environment where medications and alarms help us maintain patients in good health but when they return home to their normal lives, that’s when nursing and rehab care are vital. In the Neuro ICU, I often receive patients after having a brain injury or CVA. These patients sadly have to come to the realization that their lives are forever changed and when they return home they may no longer be able to do the activities they once did with ease. They require in-home services, like nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy to assist them. Often times, patients find things they took for granted, like putting on their own shoes now takes great amounts of focus and concentration.

This major improves the lives of seniors receiving in- home service care because it educates those providing care, allowing patients to receive more concise and accurate information. The Bachelor’s degree in nursing focuses on different aspects of nursing as opposed to just the medical side that the Associates degree tends to offer.  This degree encompasses several classes on understanding the community and that is exactly where seniors with in- home care services lie, within the community. These classes force the nurse that may only see from the hospital perspective to open their eyes to the world outside, where patients are discharged and no longer in the safety of their numbered rooms. I greatly look forward to learning about the other side of nursing as I only have the opportunity to see my patients grow within the confines of the hospital.

It is always a thrill when a patient returns to the unit to thank the staff and show how they have improved since their stay and that continued maintenance of their health is due mostly to home care services. On my unit, we often receive elderly patients after a stroke or hemorrhage who have lost the ability to speak and other physical functioning that they used to have. Many regain some of their abilities back but others have to be retaught and while this process is started in the hospital it is continued with often more intensity when the patients are discharged home.

Receiving my BSN will improve the lives of seniors that of which I can guarantee in a very personal way. With the knowledge I will gain, I will be able to preemptively teach my patients about home care and community nursing. I will be able to provide information and assist with my patient’s journey after being discharged that I have never been able to do before. I am excited about the education I will receive and the help I can give to the elderly in my community.

About Samantha

Samantha is an RN, returning to school at UCF for my BSN.

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