Sad news during lockdown

Post by Rachel Marr

Hello everyone this is a story that I would like to share with you. It is about my experience working with the community during lockdown.

Our recent lockdown was during the first week in August 2021 (Level 4).

One person lives in a Rest home, they are the only Deaf person that resides there. All other residents and staff are hearing.

A family member contacted me saying they wanted to let me know some sad news, this morning their sister had passed away. I knew the resident's sister well and she was lovely. I felt sad that this had happened.

Now I was thinking, what do I do? How do I let them know? I used the NZ Relay Service and made a call to the nurse.

The nurse was aware of the sister passing away as the family had informed the rest home. However the nurse really didn't want to use pen and paper to share this news. She felt it wasn't the right way to share this type of news.

I suggested a video call, the nurse said that she has had experience with video calls. That was perfect so I gave the nurse my number. Then we hung up and the nurse rang me on the video call.

The resident asked when I was going to visit as they missed me. They are lonely and bored. I responded with; I understand, it's Level 4 and I'm not allowed, shame. Then I decided it was time to tell the sad news.

We started to talk about their sister and I said that she had passed away, it was a shock and only happened this morning.

Straight away I could see this news was a shock to the resident and their face closed off, they said bye and hung up.

I felt quite emotional due to the emotional impact of the news. I hoped that they were alright.

Approximately 5 minutes later I received a call from the same number. I answered the call and straight away could see the resident crying. Seeing this made me emotional and I cried as well. They wanted to come and give them a hug but I knew I couldn’t.

I could see the person but I couldn't get close, it was like having a window that was a barrier.

So much suffering and so alone. One Deaf person living with many hearing in the rest home. This situation really impacted me. I really just wanted to get in my car and drive over to give them a hug, to make sure they were alright. But I knew I wasn't allowed. I had to follow the Level 4 Lockdown rules, it was so hard.

That is my story that I wanted to share with you

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