Learning sign language enables Cambridge care home staff to communicate better with residents


Members of staff at Home Meadow residential care home in Toft, Cambridgeshire, have spent time learning sign language to enable them to better communicate with residents, and in particular one resident who is profoundly deaf. 


102-year-old Mavis Coxall moved to Home Meadow last year, and carers and staff were keen to improve their direct communication with Mavis who is unable to hear. Manager of the home, Paul Fletcher, liaised with Mavis’ family and began making enquiries to see how staff could become trained in British Sign Language.


Four members of the team, including the Activities Coordinator, the Manager and two senior carers began a course in British Sign Language in February.  The team are undertaking a 15-week course, attending sessions every Tuesday.


Since undertaking the training, communication has improved between Mavis and the team, who will now look to further enhance their skills.


Home Manager Paul Fletcher said: “It was really important for us to make sure we could communicate well with Mavis.  Our services are entirely personalised and based around the needs and requirements of our residents so it’s essential that we are able to understand what we can do to make life at Home Meadow as enjoyable and comfortable for them as possible.


“The team are really enjoying the sign language training and have found it to make a huge impact on the way we communicate with Mavis.  It’s also great that we now have these skills in the home for any residents who join us in the future with similar needs.”


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