Helping hands go a long way for those in need. Helping Hands Personal Support Services is a bustling business up for a Better Business Bureau Torch Award under the health and wellness category.
“It’s a great honour and it’s really, really nice to be recognized for a job well done. We wear our hearts on our sleeves in this kind of work and it’s really great when that is recognized,” said owner Janette Kelly.
Helping Hands does everything from getting somebody ready for the day, doing meal preparation and helping individual’s stay independent in their home with that little bit of support.
“Rather than it actually detracting from somebody’s independence, it helps them stay independent. Just by having that helping hand, they can stay in their home when otherwise they may have had to go into a residential setting,” said Kelly.
Helping Hands includes 20 team members made up of artists, gardeners, foodies and more. She said one of the beneficial components of the company is that they work on a dedicated basis where they match a team member with their clients based on interests.
“If we have a client who loves to putter in their garden, then obviously somebody with more green fingers is a better fit for that person,” said Kelly.
The first step is an informal chat with the client to assess their personality as well as their needs to see what their best fit will be. It works well, Kelly said, especially when family members are out of town as it develops a strong bond.
“Then as they have to transition to more levels of support, there’s somebody already in their life who they trust, who they respect. There’s a mutual respect. You become a friend. It’s almost like another family member really,” she said.
Clients usually fall in the senior demographic, but sometimes it can be couples who are aging together, depending on their situation.
For Kelly, client interaction is her favourite part.
“We meet some wonderful people, they have so much history, literally just because of their age, a lot of wisdom, and we don’t age on the inside, we really don’t,” she said. “So many seniors are overlooked just because of the outside changing. They just need somebody who can really connect with them.”
On top of managing Helping Hands, which serves about 40 clients a week, Kelly has her own clients. For them, she brings her furry registered therapy dog Nelly along for extra love.
“It just literally brightens their day,” Kelly said. “When we go into a facility often she’ll just go around the different people and just sit with them.”
Consumers and businesses nominated 72 companies for this year’s Torch Awards; Helping Hands was among the 56 named finalists.
Winners will be announced at the awards gala on Nov. 4 at the Union Club of B.C. in Victoria.