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 Veronica Contreras
There are many challenges facing those in my community. A big issue facing in-home care is the fact that many people cannot afford to pay for this type of care. The average unemployment rate in Stockton, California, my hometown, is approximately 10.3%. Not many people can afford this type of care because they have no job to make the money to pay for it. Another issue that comes up is that those who can afford to pay for in-home care choose to opt out. They act in this fashion because they would rather check in to an elderly home and live there rather than have someone come to their own home. Because of the high crime rate in Stockton, many people have trust issues, and they would rather not have a stranger come into their home and take care of their loved one. Other feelings that would hinder efforts at in-home care could be the fact that the elderly do not want to be a burden for their relatives. If the relatives hire someone to take care of this elderly family member, the relatives might see this as an inability to take care of their own family. This is degrading to the relatives because it is not that they are not incompetent; it is just that they are busy with their own lives and do not have time to take care of their elderly family members. Instead, the elderly might rather just check themselves into an assisted living facility so their family members do not feel burdened.
With my major, I could help to solve this issue of declining in-home care service because I plan to receive my doctorate degree. With a doctorate degree in a difficult science major, I have realized that the pay is more than adequate and more than what is necessary to make a living. With any extra profits, I plan to donate to local charities in hopes that they could assist the elderly who cannot afford in-home care. I also feel that another solution to the issue of declining in-home care is to make sure that people realize the benefits of in-home care. If people only see the negatives, then they will never look favorably on this type of care. I feel that it is necessary to educate the citizens of my hometown on the benefits of having someone come to their home and taking care of their loved one. Some of these benefits could include that the elderly relatives have the ability to stay at home where they are comfortable. They could also be easily accessed by their family members. With my major, because the profits are very yielding, I would be able to donate money and make it possible for local in-home care businesses to provide the necessary education to help keep their business going. I have realized that there are so many good reasons to continue the business of in-home care. This type of business helps to keep people employed, which helps boost our economy, and I would be willing to help initiate the further continuation of this business of in-home care in order to keep my city running smoothly.
Veronica is graduating this year from college as a part of the Class of 2015.