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 Lisa Kelly

Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) provide high-quality primary care on a daily basis in communities and across the nation.  APRNs play a vital role in providing care and coordination for people with multiple diseases and chronic conditions.  Their advanced education and training equips APRNs with the knowledge and experience to refer patients for home health and hospice services.  Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) are registered nurses (RNs) with master’s, post-master’s, or doctoral degrees who pass national certification exams.  They teach and counsel patients to understand their health problems and how they can help get better.  This may include helping to coordinate care and advocate for patients in the complex health system or referring patients to physicians and other healthcare providers.

APRN’s working with seniors that are receiving in-home care services is beneficial and helps to reduce the delay care for patients who are vulnerable and homebound.  Allowing APRNs to certify home health and hospice services can potentially decrease costs, expedite treatment by eliminating the need for physician sign-off and allow patient-centered health care teams to practice more efficiently.  APRN’s have more autonomy are more apt to spend more time with the patients and their families to help develop a trusting relationships.  The everyday changing healthcare is allowing for more APRN’s to have more capabilities to practice within facilities without the physician being present.  APRN’s are becoming the new job description for registered nurses wanting to go back to school because seeking the desired degree is more obtainable then going back to medical school for years.  There are many seniors that would like to still have that independence within their own home especially in my community with the farmers and their families.  Home care visits from APRN’s would be beneficial in creating a better healing environment instead of a phone call from a doctor or with the advanced technology a “doctor in a box.”  I am not opposed to the new technological innovations in medicine but you have to look back at the seniors receiving care at the time period and era they came from and are accustom to.

I hope to see my future working with seniors and their families receiving in-home care services so that I can give back to my community by helping out physicians who are already stretched thin with patient overloads.  I would also like to coordinate a program in my community for families who are having a hard time with loved ones receiving the in-home care, help to alleviate any guilty feelings they may have, how to deal with loved ones with dementia or Alzheimer disease or just provide general knowledge about the services offered from the facility.  I would also like to develop a team that could make house calls for the patients that are receiving home care, to help with the vulnerable or caregivers families to improve continuity of care.

About Lisa

Lisa was accepted into Duke University’s Family Nurse Practitioner Program for spring 2015.


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