Saada Awad, Misericordia Place

Saada Awad

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing our world and health-care professionals are on the front lines.

“The one thing I really don’t like about the PPE is that I can’t share my smiles,” laments Saada Awad, a health-care aide at Misericordia Place, pointing to her mask.

Saada understands the importance of wearing Personal Protective Equipment, a crucial COVID-19 precaution, but spends much of her day explaining to residents why she is wearing it.

“They keeping asking me if I’m sick,” she says, “I explain I’m wearing it to protect them. Many residents forget and I have to explain again.”

Saada is also finding it tough not being able to hug the residents she cares for: “I now touch their arms, rather than hugging.”

A new aspect of Saada’s position is helping residents with FaceTime, an activity she finds very rewarding.

“I felt so bad residents couldn’t have visitors, keeping in touch is so important.”

She’s extremely happy families are now allowed to visit in person with residents again, for everyone’s sake.

“The residents are very excited about the visits,” she says, “When you say family is coming, they really perk up.”

COVID-19 has also brought “single-site staffing” to all personal care homes in Manitoba, meaning staff can only work at one personal care home so as to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Saada thinks this was an excellent development as “it’s much safer for our residents, and my co-workers.”

If there is a silver lining to COVID-19, it’s that it has brought Saada’s children all under one roof again. “My daughter is studying at U of M and has now come back home to live. I’m very happy we’re all together.”

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