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al orner C F all 2013 Volume 9 No.1 An Individualized Instruction, Journalism III Project, California University of Pennsylvania Finding a Calling in Hospice By JAMIE RIDER She sat in the musty living room of the 89year-old man and his 85-year-old wife. The man told the hospice social worker that he and his wife were perfectly fine, despite that just last week, his wife had fallen out of her chair and he had struggled to put her back in a sitting position, an act that strained his back. Danielle Carolla is a hospice social worker for Fayette Home Care and Hospice and a social work graduate student at California University of Pennsylvania. When she is not attending night classes, she is working with elderly people in the region to make sure they are healthy mentally and emotionally. She also consults with doctors so that those people who are struggling at the end of their lives are properly taken care of. “It’s my job to offer support in the stage of a patient’s life when it’s recognized that some illnesses you don’t recover from,” Carolla said. Carolla said Fayette Home Care specializes in seeing patients in their own homes, rather than in a hospice house. Fayette Home Care’s website says, “The program strives to maintain patient dignity while focusing on pain and symptom management.” Carolla spends two days a week making house calls to patients who have been placed under hospice care. She meets with each patient every week at least once and keeps a detailed report of how they’re doing. She starts her day at the office, collecting files of the patients she will see that day, then hops in her car to drive to the first house on her list. She says driving is the worst part of her job. She never knows how far she’ll have to go or how accessible a patient’s home will be. “One time I went to see this woman who Inside * Page 2: Stopping Stalking * Page 3: Safey at Night * Page 4: Campus Drug Problems? * Page 5: Violence Not the Norm at Cal * Pages 6-7: Preventing Sexual Harassment * Page 8: Vandalism is a Minor Irritant Danielle Carolla is a social work graduate student and a hospice social worker. lived in the mountains and her driveway was extremely steep,” Carolla said. “I was lucky it wasn’t winter, or I would have never made it up to the house.” She also has to be aware of animals in and around the houses she visits. She is there to make sure patients are OK but must also look out for her own safety. She said she hasn’t had any animals that were a problem but knows it will eventually happen if she stays in the hospice area of social work. She said she loves her job, despite these small inconveniences. “It makes me feel so good to know I’m helping a patient and their family,” Carolla said. “It’s part of my job to make sure they’re managing the final days in their life or the life of their loved ones.” Carolla’s last patient of the day was Cath- See “Hospice,” Page 3 * Page 9: When Visitors Get Out of Line * Page10: Borough Considers Building Project * Page 11: A Peek at the Weird Side of Police Reports * Page 12: Meet the Editors

Cal Corner Fall 2013

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