Meet Batool, a Volunteer Interviewer from Vancouver
Batool has been supporting the project as a volunteer interviewer since early January and has been interviewing at facilities across Vancouver and the North Shore.
Batool has previously worked as a doctor in Iran and as a psychiatric resident in Germany. After recently moving to Canada she was looking to become further involved with our local health care system. Here is what she has to say about her experiences conducting interviews with resident:
What interested you in becoming a volunteer interviewer?
“I have always been curious and interested about this demographic and age group, since they have already lead full and fruitful lives with their families; but now, when they really need the support, they are often alone and no longer in their homes. I’m really interested to understand how they feel and learn about their perspective on life as they grow old with their families, and have lost their loved ones and those close to them.”
When you are with a resident, what is the most important thing to do?
“The most important thing for residents is for them to receive respect, to be heard sympathetically and not be interrupted. They are very welcoming when you listen to them enthusiastically and will continue to share their personal experiences. They really appreciate when I ask for their permission to record what they have told me as part of our conversations.”
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
“Although some residents communicate very well and enjoy the company of others, some are isolated and can seem to be introverted as a result. Based on what I have seen, most of them are happy to participate in music programs, yoga and other recreational activities. In addition to physical and recreational programs, many would benefit from a balanced approach that also includes mental, emotional and spiritual support.”