A program under way in Indiana is offering a new format for home care that connects seniors seeking assistance with nursing students who can provide those services in the home.
The program, Senior Care Central, connects seniors seeking care with nursing students at local universities. The concept has launched in Indiana and surrounding regions, utilizing relationships between Valparaiso University, Indiana University, Purdue and Ivy Tech. An online portal allows seniors and family members seeking care to search for those who can provide it locally, within their homes.
“The increase in the population of older Americans and their desire to age in place has led to some serious challenges within the health care community,” says Senior Care Central founder, Dr. Kristen Mauk. “Chief among them [is] how to provide high quality, in-home care at an affordable price and in a way that provides flexibility to those seeking care. At the same time, you have in this area a pool of well-trained nursing students looking for healthcare-related employment.”
Rather than to rely on home health care providers or residential care, the program’s workforce comprises student nurses and Certified Nursing Assistants, who are becoming educated in nursing at the time of their employment.
“Nursing students tend to be more motivated and knowledgeable care providers than the typical home health care worker by virtue of their ongoing education and career path,” says Dan Easton, who leads social media outreach and caregiver recruitment at Senior Care Central. “We’re finding student nurses at multiple nursing programs in this area to be very enthusiastic about finding healthcare-related employment opportunities that fit into their busy academic schedules.”
Written by Elizabeth Ecker