Adèle Rigoigne, a Fidesco volunteer from France, describes an unexpected challenge caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Working with Godfrey while wearing a mask is not easy at all. Godfrey is chatty and he enjoys repeating every word I say.
However, recently he has not been able to do this because my English is not perfect and Godfrey is not able to read my lips due to the mask required to be worn as part of the personal protective equipment. I discovered that it’s better when we sing songs that he already knows, and repeat certain words of the song that I want him to learn. The whole activity makes him laugh so much that the impact of wearing a mask is no longer a barrier!
Wearing a mask when working with Bo is even more challenging because Bo is hard of hearing. My aim is to teach her sign language.
Usually Bo is able to read my lips or at least read my facial expressions to understand what I mean, but now that I have to wear a mask, it is difficult. To overcome this challenge, I now use a lot of gestures, showing her pictures and encouraging her to imitate the signs.”
We are so grateful for the commitment and compassion shown by our volunteers. They bring an extra, valuable dimension into the residents’ lives and are an invaluable help to our staff. Thank you, Adèle, and all the other Fidesco volunteers.