Tales from Two: Amanda and Adriana

By Amanda Au, Adriana Tovar and Luisa Bustos, 6 May 2020 , Comments

In the three years that Creativity Inc Support Worker Adriana has worked with Amanda, the pair has experienced all sorts of situations together … from going on group social outings, to hospital stays, and now adapting to living through the Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown. Amanda is 43 and has intellectual disability and some mobility issues. She lives in an aged care facility where residents have not been allowed to go out or receive visitors for several weeks. In this Tales from Two in isolation, Amanda and Adriana share how things used to be and how they are currently making the most of their weekly time together.

Amanda: Adriana is a very nice person. I want to thank her because she is helping me.

I see Adriana every week. Now we can’t go out because of Coronavirus, so every Saturday Adriana helps me to buy groceries, some takeaway and Chinese drinks. We hand the groceries through the door. It’s nice to see her when she hands my things through the door.

Because I can’t go out, I give Adriana the shopping list through WhatsApp on Friday nights. Every Saturday at 10 o’clock we open a video call and she walks around the shopping centre with me. I feel like I’m outside in the world.

[Before the virus], we [would] go to the shopping centre in Eastgardens. After the shopping centre, we [would] go to the cemetery. We went to La Perouse Cemetery and sometimes we went to the Macquarie Cemetery. We go there to pay our respects.

[Now, to stay busy] I draw, do origami, watch TV. I watch Hong Kong dramas in Cantonese. I’ve also got a radio and things to do arts and crafts in my room, so it’s okay.

[After the virus] I want to go to the shopping centre, then to the cemetery. I miss doing those [things] with Adriana.

Adriana: I started supporting Amanda in 2017. She is a super happy person.

In the beginning we were doing social outings together. We were doing little walks to the café close by, and I was taking her to the shopping centre. We would also join in some social groups from Creativity Inc. We would go to South Juniors to have dinner with them, have a chat and go dancing. We also went to the Creativity Inc Centre in Rosebery to have barbecues.

A year later, Amanda had some health issues and needed to stay in hospital. Since then, her life changed quickly and she was unable to live on her own. While she was in hospital, I kept going to see her every Saturday. We would talk, I would help her with her nails or bring different food for her to eat.

Amanda loves the cemetery. When we started working together, our shifts were evening shifts, and she was always telling me: “I want to go to the cemetery.” I said: “No way! We’re not going to the cemetery when it’s dark!” But then we moved the shift to daytime, so we could go. She would always make sure we had time either before shopping or after shopping.

At the moment, because she can’t go out, I call her when I get to the shopping centre and we figure out what we will do. I turn on the video on WhatsApp so she can see what shops are closed and what shops are open, while I am pushing the trolley.

Amanda is coping very well with the lockdown; she has her Hong Kong TV channels and she has plenty of arts and crafts stuff at home, like origami and beads to make necklaces. We keep in contact and she sends me drawings she does.

After the lockdown, there is no doubt she is going to ask me to go to the cemetery! There is a yum cha restaurant in Bondi Junction that she loves to go to. I think once this is done, one of the first things she will want to do is to go to yum cha and then the cemetery.

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Creativity Inc staff and customers joined the Northcott family in January, ensuring Creativity Inc customers can continue to receive services.

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