Harrow and Brent United Deaf Club have been running a club for those who are deaf and open to allies of hearing members/ British Sign Language (BSL) students who learnt BSL through the club .
Mrs X, 70yrs old of ethnic origin, lives alone and was scared to go out during covid lockdown. As a result, she was extremely isolated. Her friend found out about the Club and encouraged Mrs X to come. She said she thought she was not allowed to go out because of the risks of covid, not realising the protective measures such as social distancing and missing out on information that wasn’t provided in BSL, she was confused about what to do.
Mrs X liked the idea of a Deaf club and got a lift with her friend. On arrival, she recognised some members she’d known a long time ago. She thrives on communicating with new and old faces in BSL. She explained that she has depression and had some changes including being forgetful and worries about her health including her fear of dementia, like some of her older friends. At the project, we told her about the importance of looking after her own health and well-being, supported her with ‘keeping fit’ video that she can try at home, and she came to the Deaf Club regularly for peer support to improve her mental well-being and reduce social isolation.
Harrow and Brent United Deaf Club also supported her about her right to access her GP for a check-up and discussed her fear about growing old and what she can do to prevent the deterioration of her health, including dementia e.g. exercise and nutrition often helps and reduce social isolation by meeting people. And communicating in BSL is good for mental stimulation!