For those times when you could do with a wee helping hand in life – look no further than Donna Smith.
Lewis resident Donna, a self-employed Support Worker, is trained and highly experienced in working with the elderly, with dementia and palliative care, first-aid, and risk assessment; and offers ‘A Wee Helping Hand’ to her clients – whether that be with aspects of personal care, help with shopping, going to appointments, visiting friends, or simply stopping in for a cuppa and some company.
“The help I provide is all tailored to the individual person,” said Donna. “Everyone has their own needs – not all my clients need palliative care, not all need help showering, for some I might just be popping in to make sure they eat their lunch and to have a wee chat, give a bit of company.
“But it’s more than just going in and doing the work that is needed though. You get to learn about your clients, adapt to how they are and build up a trust between you, and become the safety net that allows them to have confidence to do the things they can for themselves.
“It’s about helping people to stay in their own homes for as long as possible, to keep them active, and to help them make the most of their lives. That’s what I do and it’s an absolute pleasure.”
Bringing with her a bright, cheerful smile and positive, humorous attitude, for many it is Donna’s personality which sees the bond between client and support grow strong; as having dealt with her own illness for years, she has a personal understanding of how best to help others.
“I was diagnosed with MS when I was 15 years old and I didn’t think I’d be able to work at first. I’ve learnt how to manage and live with it and I do think my support work helps me to deal with it all better as well,” she said.
“Because I work for myself, I’m not restrained time-wise so I’m not rushing from one person to the next. I’m also mobile and the car I have is set up with the seats a bit higher so it’s easier access for older people.”
Donna continued: “I really get a lot from helping not only the person, but their family as well, giving them a break perhaps or just the security that their loved one isn’t going to be alone all day.
“The fact that I can do something and that it is appreciated means a great deal. I think sometimes I get more out of it than my clients, because I’m doing what I want to do, I’m helping!”