Our practitioners have been in touch with their previous clients during the national lockdown. Unusually, the practitioners have had time on their hands being at home… Normally our practitioners run a new training programme in a new area, every 3 months. This leaves them little time to check up on each and every previous client.
The purpose of the practitioners’ calls initially was to hear how their clients are doing, to hear if they are managing to stay safe with their newly acquired independence skills. To also make sure they are observing social distancing and hand washing.
One of the phone calls went to Auntie Rose (not her real name). Thabelo our practitioner trained her six months ago. Rose lives in a semi-rural area, together with her daughter and grandchildren. Rose was so pleased to receive a call from Thabelo. Yes she was staying safe. And yes she was managing to walk to the spaza shop still all on her own, just as Thabelo had taught her. She had one pertinent question: she really loved using her new liquid level indicator. She found the nifty little device so helpful when she made herself a cup of tea. (This little device, which the user hangs from the rim of the cup, starts beeping as the liquid reaches the top. Once it makes a solid beeeep, you know you need to stop pouring immediately. It is the sign that the cup is full.)
And now, Rose’ little liquid indicator was broken. After some questions from Thabelo, it was clear that it was only the battery that had died. Thabelo then reminded Auntie Rosie that she actually taught her another method when pouring liquid, to know when to stop: that is using her finger as a guide inside the cup.
So during the phone call now in lockdown, Thabelo asked auntie Rose’ daughter to bring along a jug and a cup, and together the three of them, with Thabelo’s telephonic guidance, practised for Rose to pour herself a glass of water without spilling anything of the table cloth.
Auntie Rose who is blind, can once again make her and her family some tea without anyone needing to help her. Thanks to Thabelo’s WhatsApp call.
Another one of Thabelo’s clients recently got married. Her husband is also blind. Unlike our client Lerato (not her real name), her husband has never received independence training. When Thabelo called Lerato to hear how she was doing, she reported that thanks to her training, she was still able to independently go shopping while staying safe doing so. But she complained “it is difficult for me to walk with my husband as I am the one who got training and he does not know how to walk with me and also he has a problem counting coins”
Thabelo was able to give them good technical advice for travelling together on the road and staying safe. And after a couple of telephonic money recognition lessons, Lerato’s husband can now tell the value of all the coins. He asked Thabelo please, next time she is in the area, please can she come and train him to walk on his own with a white cane, just like Lerato is able to do.