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 Tonya Krause Cuneo
After completion of the Master of Arts (MA) in Gerontology program at Bethel University, my career goals in the next five to ten years, I envision myself working within my own rural community of Isanti County. I see firsthand the lack of medical resources and want to offer my knowledge and experience to expand opportunities/options for accessing health care. I would like to be an active participant in facilitating additional Ambulatory Care Management, Palliative Care, In-Home Health Care services, as well as end of life care for the adult/gerontological population.
In recognizing my lack of knowledge of the social, economic, and spiritual facets of the Gerontological population; this validated the need to build my knowledge by attending Bethel’s MA in Gerontology program. I choose to attend Bethel University for its mission and vision of “energizing men and women for leadership, scholarship, and service equipping graduates to make exceptional contributions in lifelong service to God and the world.” I believe obtaining my Graduate Degree will allow me to continue my passion for being a servant to the sick and in providing exceptional care for the geriatric patients. My MA in Gerontology degree will improve the lives of seniors receiving in-home care services because it has expanded my knowledge of the physiological, relational, financial, and spiritual aspects of the aging population. This knowledge will better enhance the ability to meet diverse needs and provide holistic care of those who may need in-home care services.
Many families with young children, as well as aging adults, seek well-planned age-friendly communities to remain active and live independently. In the next twenty years as the baby boomers age, fulfilling the demand for age-friendly communities will be a challenge. Government policy and involvement play a key role in preparing for the dramatic increase of persons 65+ in our communities. The efforts and cost of developing an age-friendly community are the responsibility of both the government and citizens to work jointly to serve the people. As I gain knowledge of the aging process and aging policy issues, I believe the benefit of becoming involved with Legislative positions that are brought forward by individuals to advocate for creating or modifying public policies on behalf of the aging population.
As people age, they have become more vulnerable to the elements around them. It is our responsibility as human beings to support, nurture, and care for one another regardless of age. As a society, we place a tremendous amount of resources on the youth with educational, recreational, and volunteering programs. We need to offer the same opportunities and services through the entire lifespan.
Tonya is pursuing a Master of Arts in Gerontology.