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 Miranda Londono
My goal is to study at Valencia College in Orlando to earn an Associates in the Science of Nursing ultimately becoming a registered nurse, and continuing onwards towards a Bachelors in the science of Nursing. I would then like to continue onwards towards Pre-medical studies; ultimately getting closer to becoming a sports medicine physician. At some point of my future doctoral career, I plan to continue my practice through entrepreneurship of my own medical practices and rehabilitation facilities. While working at a local nursing home in Sarasota Florida, I realized that a lot can be done to improve the lives of seniors receiving in-home care services. A drastic measure that can be done to improve the lives of in-home care service clients is to make in home care affordable. Many family members dread having to place their loved ones in a poorly kept nursing home. Many times nursing homes have often been known to freeze the assets of their patients due to financial complications that the insurance provider does not cover. The total sum of costs that are provided to the geriatric community are astronomical. I understand that palliative and holistic care cost a substantial amount, but a good level of care should not be too expensive. The elderly stages of life should be the “golden years”, but sadly financial status has been known to define the level of care provided. Moreover many companies should keep in mind that Social Security is the major source of income for most of the elderly. Social Security benefits represent about 38% of the income of the elderly, and the checks are never quite overabundant. Lowering the costs of good and quality care will make the possibility of in home care services obtainable for many. Many businesses that lower the costs of their products or services receive a supplemental amount of revenue due to the sole fact that the competitor prices are much higher.
Make the In Home Care Client comfortable with the healthcare provider
In Home Care clients must feel comfortable with their health care provider. Whether it be a social worker, a registered nurse, or a certified nursing assistant the patient must feel comfortable with the people coming into their house. Lawsuits have been administered in many cases towards healthcare providers that have stolen from in home care clients. This breaks a serious barrier within the trust of the client and individuals entering their home. A high level of professionalism and modesty should be shown throughout every employee of the in home care company and background checks should always be administered. Also many lawsuits have been issued to companies that hire an employee who documents false information with in home care services. In exemplar, before I began working as a certified nurse assistant I had to watch a HIPPA video stressing the idea that writing down falsified information can result in huge penalties. If a care provider documents that he/she visited the the client at their home and the healthcare provider really did not visit the client at all that day, this false documentation can lead to loss of license and ultimately lead to an extreme lawsuit for the in home care company. In order to prevent false documentation from happening, frequent check ins should be reviewed by an outstanding employee of the company, and proof of care should be documented accurately at all times.
Many times the elderly individuals’ family members end up choosing the care facility or service that is provided to the client. In Home Care services should be advertised through every source of media that is: newspaper advertisements, online, and through commercials. In Sarasota I constantly viewed ads for local nursing homes but rarely did I ever see direct advertisements advocating in home care services for the geriatric community. Advertising in home care may be as simple as passing out brochures during a community bingo session. All mediums of advertisement should be used, many news networks such as FOX and CNN have commercials marketed towards elderly individuals because they understand who the majority of their viewers are; but other modes of advertisement should also be utilized to ensure that everyone has an understanding of in home care services. By this I do not mean put a commercial advertising in home health care through broadcasters such as Nickelodeon, but rather to diversify the methods of advertisement moderately.
Miranda is currently a student at Valencia College and is working towards becoming a Registered Nurse.