Griswold Home Care is committed to helping further the education of those who show a deep dedication to caregiving. Twice each year, we award a $1,000 scholarship to a student who aims to work in the caregiving field and demonstrates strength of character and continued scholastic excellence.
We are pleased to announce Elaina Carkhuff as the winner of our bi-annual scholarship contest. Elaina is currently pursuing a Masters Degree at Gwynedd Mercy University in Pennsylvania. She recently graduated Summa Cum Laude with her Bachelors degree in Nursing. Elaina is working towards becoming a nurse practitioner and is equally attracted to helping care for others, as well as assisting her fellow nurses in furthering their own careers. Elaina will receive $1,000 towards her graduate studies from Griswold Home Care.
To qualify for scholarship consideration, we request that entrants share their thoughts and experiences in caregiving with us. Many of our participants shared inspiring, personal stories about the challenges they faced caring for others, as well as the rewards of caregiving. They also shared with us how furthering their education can help them give back to their own community.
Elaina cared for her mother, father, grandmother, and other relatives, noting that “The greatest challenge of providing care for a loved one is anticipating their needs. Often, sick or ill individuals do not know exactly what they need. But that need is often just offering human companionship for them to comfort them through their illness.”
While working full-time, Elaina cared for her mother who was diagnosed with bladder cancer. ‘She was told she had 9 months to a year to live. We made every single day count knowing her end was near,” said Elaina. “I changed my working hours to 5 am until 1 pm in order to care for her after she got home from work. Nausea was difficult for in her final days and I would prepare her meals based on her tastes for that particular day. These were meals prepared out of my love for my mother. This food was my way of comforting her as she comforted me as a little girl when I was ill.”
Elaina shared that the ability to comfort someone who is ill is an important part of caregiving. “Nursing is an evolving art and science and it needs graduate-prepared nurses to keep up to date on the newest practice techniques in healthcare through evidence based practice. However, comfort comes from knowing a person is there unconditionally for you, and is often better than modern medicine.”
The Importance of Helping Others
During this difficult time, Elaina found strength to care for her mother and it provided her with inspiration to further her nursing studies. “My mother shared how it felt to have cancer and battle it daily. She wanted to share this information with me so that I could assist other patients in my future while practicing in the field of nursing. I am grateful for the information she was able to share, always thinking about others before herself, even in her dying days.”
In addition to helping patients, Elaina hopes to use what she learns in her graduate studies to help other nurses in the field. In addition to the medical aspects of her career path, Elaina acknowledges the importance of self-care to be an effective caregiver: “You must take care of yourself in order to properly care for other individuals,” she said. “You must not burn out or you won’t be an effective caregiver for yourself or your loved one. Take time to smell the roses and share your experiences with those around you.”
Congratulations, Elaina! Griswold Home Care wishes you all the best in your continued nursing studies and wish you much happiness and success along the way.