A Heartfelt Interview: Listening in Mandarin
Amazing volunteers from varied backgrounds are coming forward to listen to the voices of older adults living in long-term care. Volunteer Surveyors who are fluent both English and in another language, invite residents to participate in this survey in their preferred language. Read about one Volunteer Surveyor who connected with residents while conducting interviews in Mandarin.
I just wanted to let you know that the Care Home Champion at the site was extremely supportive and helpful throughout my orientation and shift. She helped me confirm where some of the alternate language residents were, and helped me find a quiet place to chat with the residents when group activities began running in the common room. Another volunteer was also there today, and we worked together to come up with a plan to connect with many residents during our shift.
I want to share something heartwarming today! I was having a wonderful conversation with a delightful Mandarin-speaking resident, and at the end of our interview, she asked me to come back and join her for tea next week! While I politely declined, it was endearing and absolutely made my day. I realized, during our interview, that we share the same hometown in China. Because she speaks only Mandarin, she has been unable to communicate with everyone around her at the care home, and felt isolated for a long time. However, when we chatted, she was extremely witty and open to sharing her experiences. It was certainly a special visit and meaningful interview!
You too can find a sense of community and connection during your volunteer commitment, whether it is through interviewing in another language, with other volunteers or residents. We are continuing to recruit volunteers across the province to participate as Volunteer Surveyors in this project. If you are interested in volunteering as part of this survey, please apply here.