Frontline Initiative: DSPs Using the NADSP Code of Ethics
COVID-19 Couldn't Take Away their Friendships
One woman who lives at the house where I work moved in just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. She has been supported by Perspectives for over 20 years, so she knows everyone. She and her lady friends used to do so many fun things before the COVID-19 pandemic essentially cut them off from the outside world. They would have lunch, bingo, tea parties, and shopping dates. COVID-19 took all of that away, making her feel down.
I began working in this house two years ago, and one of the first things I started was to help her write letters to her friends. She started to feel happier and more content. She always checked the mail for letters from her friends. After a month or so of writing with the ladies, I asked if she wanted to chat with them on the phone, which she did.
Once we got the OK to be around other people, I asked if she wanted to set a lunch date with her friends. We met her friends at Applebee’s, and they had a blast! They picked up their friendship as if they had just seen each other. I was so happy for her, and we made plans for the next week. Now she has a monthly get-together planned, and they still write letters and call each other often.
I relied on two of the tenets of the NADSP Code of Ethics to guide me. The first was taking a person-centered approach. It helped me find what was lacking in her life and how to help her fill some of her social needs.
Maintaining relationships takes work. I told them, “If all of you ladies want this to work and make an effort [to nurture your friendship], it will happen.” I advocated for her with management to make their get-togethers a regular part of her life.
The other tenet, which goes together with a person-centered approach, was Relationships. They are a big part of all our lives, and I knew that she missed her friends and needed to see them. Maintaining relationships takes work. I told them, “If all of you ladies want this to work and make an effort [to nurture your friendship], it will happen.” I advocated for her with management to make their get-togethers a regular part of her life.