The Inspiring Story of an 88-Year-Old College Graduate

The Amazing Story of Horace Sheffield, an 88-Year-Old College Graduate

By Will Reid, 9:00 am on

After enrolling at Shorter University in 1960, Horace Sheffield realized his family needed to come before his education. While the road was long and difficult, retired pastor Horace Sheffield was finally able to return to school, receiving his diploma in May 2017. This 58-year journey has inspired his children, grandchildren, and the community as a whole. 

Taking Care of His Family

Sheffield completed a handful of college courses in the 1950s and 1960s, but he eventually discovered he couldn’t pursue his dreams while caring for his wife and children.

“I couldn’t go to school and educate my kids at the same time,” Sheffield stated during an interview with CNN. Once his children were out of the home, Sheffield and his family faced a new challenge. He had been married for over 50 years when his wife Bernice was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He then devoted his life to caring for her and showing her as much love as possible. 

Alzheimer’s can be challenging for families who do not have experience in providing proper care. Each stage of Alzheimer’s impacts a senior’s health and affects his or her ability to manage daily tasks independently. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable in-home care. Cincinnati, Ohio, families trust in Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.

The Next Phase of His Life

Once his wife passed away, Sheffield started considering the next phase of his life. While heading back to school seemed tempting, he realized he wouldn’t be able to afford the tuition on a fixed income. He then saw an ad that offered free tuition to senior citizens. Sheffield had no idea what he was in for, but he decided to apply to the program, and just a few years later Sheffield received his B.S. in Christian Studies. 

The Challenges of Going Back to School

Instead of heading to traditional classrooms, Sheffield enrolled in an online program that allowed him to carry out most of his work from home. He also received quite a bit of help from his neighbor Amanda Brannock. Sheffield was not completely comfortable using a computer, so Brannock typed out his handwritten work and then submitted the assignments for him. During the graduation ceremony, Brannock walked behind Sheffield as he received his diploma from Shorter University President Don Dowless.

Like Brannock, many friends and family members selflessly care for their elderly loved ones on a daily basis. However, caregivers may feel overwhelmed at times. Cincinnati respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.

Seniors and Higher Education

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the number of older adults heading back to school has been on the rise for over a decade. While some of these seniors are taking traditional classes, online courses are another great option. These courses are affordable and offer flexibility for seniors who are housebound. Many colleges and universities are now offering thousands of online courses for almost all subjects. Seniors who aren’t interested in graduating can keep their minds sharp by enrolling in these courses.

Limitations in physical health and cognitive functioning are the primary reasons aging adults need help. For many seniors in Cincinnati, Ohio, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness. To create a customized care plan for your aging loved one, call us at 513.891.2273 today.