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 Alyssa Haus, Bethel University

Biokinetics, a major at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota, is all about using science to promote healthy lives. This program prepares students for careers as a Physical Therapy Aid, a Personal Care Attendant, and an Exercise Physiologist to name a few. Biokinetics additionally prepares students for Graduate studies in areas such as Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Chiropractic, and Physician Assistant. This degree equips students with the skills needed for the many different in-home care services that are offered for seniors. All of these personal care services have one thing in common and that is to improve the quality of life of the seniors receiving the help.

Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy in-home services greatly improve the quality of life of the seniors. Therapists can help develop at home exercise routines for patients so that daily tasks such as walking, climbing stairs, getting on and off of the toilet, and cooking become easier. Physical activity increases strength, which can help reduce the risk of falls. In-home care is very personalized so activities can be tailored to the individual so that they are fun. Therapy in the home holds seniors accountable because many times seniors skip therapy if they have to travel somewhere because of the hassle. Therapists keep seniors physically engaged, one part of the whole person, which helps to improve quality of life.

Personal Care Attendant services are able to help seniors with grooming, toileting, transfers, and medication assistance. This keeps seniors safe physically and helps their mental/emotional well-being. Having someone care for your most personal needs allows the individual feel like a person again. Having another individual in the house also helps the senior stay healthy socially. Personal Care Attendants keep seniors physically, mentally, and socially engaged to help improve their quality of life.

Many other in-home care services could be listed and they all positively impact a senior’s physical, mental, social, and emotional well-being. This helps to achieve the goal of allowing seniors to accomplish better health and a greater degree of happiness all in the security of their own homes. These services do not simply do everything for the seniors, but rather they include the seniors to encourage independence. All of this is achieved by using the holistic approach to wellness, taking into account body, mind, and spirit.

The Biokinetics degree that Bethel University offers is very universal in the fact that it allows students to decide between many paths that all help individuals achieve their optimal quality of life no matter the situation. Individuals graduating with this degree, with or without additional schooling, can help improve the lives of seniors receiving in-home care. Therapists, Personal Care Assistants, and many others help keep seniors physically, mentally, socially and emotionally engaged allowing seniors to thoroughly enjoy life. Not only does this benefit the seniors receiving the care, but also their families. Once a family decides to have in-home care for a loved one, a huge weight is lifted from the family. Caring for a senior is challenging and greatly impacts the caregiver’s well-being. This is why in-home care is beneficial for all involved. Having a Biokinetics degree will certainly prepare students who are entering the health field and wanting to help provide in-home care for those who need it.

About Alyssa

Alyssa is currently a sophomore at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is seeking an undergraduate degree in Biokinetics.

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