Kara Janes, Master of Social Work Student, Receives Best "Reality Check" Award from Family Caregiver Alliance

Posted October 9, 2012

Kara Janes, a Master of Social Work student, recently received the best “Reality Check” reward from Family Caregiver Alliance, a non-profit in San Francisco, for her experience spending 10 days at a nursing home in order to, “build empathy for her clients and enrich her clinical understanding of the long-term care environment.” The story of her time at the nursing home was also featured in the Bangor Daily News and in Silverwire, the newsletter of the UMaine Center on Aging. Kara’s experience was coordinated and evaluated through the “Learning and Living” project at the University of New England. Developed in 2006, the “Learning by Living” project places students in long-term care settings in order to develop their empathy, self-knowledge and clinical skills. Janes received a “diagnosis” of stroke, fully embraced her diagnosis, ate a pureed diet, and was assisted with her activities of daily living throughout her stay. She said of the experience, “The Kara Janes that entered Lakewood is not the Kara Janes that left Lakewood. I was truly blessed with the opportunity to be stripped away of everything. To be a nothing and a nobody. I had the good fortune to receive this life-altering event. While battling so many emotions I was gently led by such kind souls on a journey I will never forget. I know this journey has had not only an impact on my personal life but also on my social work. I can only hope that I will be able to guide others with a gentle soul and golden heart in order for them to discover their strengths and kind souls.” To read the Bangor Daily News story please go here.