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 Marcia Trader
Watching a film can be a source of relaxation, entertainment, and even present knowledge and awareness to viewers. When you think of senior citizens that require in-home care you might not imagine popping open a media player as the first step of aid. However, all of the aforementioned values of a film can be crucially beneficial to caring for the elderly.
A senior woman is bed ridden due to painful arthritic conditions. Her family comes to visit every so often, but this weekend they are busy. An in-home caregiver stops by and takes her blood pressure. The caregiver asks the woman how she has been feeling and if she’s taken her pills. The caregiver helps the senior woman bathe, and gets her lunch. Now back in bed, the elderly woman feels utterly bored. The caregiver opens the DVD player, pops in a video, and hands the elderly woman the remote. This movie will ease her mind from her aching body even if only for a little while. As simple as this act may be, this senior can now relax for a little while and just enjoy the source of entertainment set up in front of her. With a satisfied nod of her head the elderly woman dismisses the nurse who then smiles and packs up her things. On her way out, she sets a glass of water on the bedside table as the elderly woman becomes lost in the relatable story world of film. A movie plays from the ages she grew up in, and the senior woman feels instantly comforted. Just imagine this simple satisfaction and happiness a film can bring to an elderly audience who has no other source of entertainment, and how important that could be.
Besides being an obvious source of entertainment to seniors requiring in-home care, films could also be a vessel of knowledge to both these seniors and their caregivers. Training videos could be clarifying to caregivers learning to use new equipment or perform a new task. These types of videos will let them see firsthand what kind of tasks will be performed to the elderly they are taking care of, and the process and methods used to carry out such tasks. Such a film will take technical information and help make it more understandable, especially to the seniors. Showing a senior a short video of what is to be expected during a visit from a caregiver would not only be more clarifying and interesting, but also easier for the caregiver who would otherwise be left trying to explain the process. These videos could also help teach the elderly techniques to take care of themselves while the caregiver is gone, and help them explore ways to complete simple tasks in ways that will be easiest for them. These types of videos could teach caregivers about new equipment and processes. They could also teach the seniors about what to expect during visits, and also present them with new ideas on different methods of taking care of themselves.
Films don’t have to be regarded as only visual entertainment. To senior citizens they are often a welcome form of relaxation and comfort. To caregivers they can be used as a training tool regarding care for elderly citizens. In another way they can be informational and helpful to the seniors needing this care as well. Film may not seem like the most practical way to help an elderly person, but when used right, a film has the potential to make an impact on a senior’s life.
Marcia currently attends Montana State University and is pursuing a degree in film.