Lana Reid with therapy dog-in training, Maverick. VOICE PHOTO

REID focused on maximizing skills of seniors and those with dementia

Special to the VOICE

After 10 years of working in a bank, Lana Reid decided her calling in life was better suited to helping people. So she took the Recreational Therapy program at Niagara College, and, in April, launched her business, REID Therapy.

In addition to being her last name, REID also stands for Recreation Education, Independent Delivery.

The idea is similar to other services geared towards the large seniors population in the region, but her training specializes in —but is not limited to — helping those at various stages of dementia.

“The main focus is providing respite and companionship, as well as providing in-home or in-facility one-to-one care for those with dementia,” Reid said.

She stresses the core part of her work is maximizing what those people are still capable of doing.

“Sometimes they need a little assistance doing things,” she said. “These individuals still have the ability, but they need help or they can’t be alone. I come in and see what their strengths are, so they’re not losing their independence. Maybe they need cuing … for instance, they can still do laundry, but maybe they just need help.”

Reid cited a client she currently has who lost his driver’s licence after a lifetime around automobiles running a body shop.

“Cars are a huge deal for him, that’s who he is,” she said. “My job is to come in and we can go for a drive, and we can still look at cars … companionship is a big thing, because as we age and lose abilities, depression sets in.”

Reid says that while she is not a personal support worker, she is there to do more than simply help clients with tasks and errands.

“I’m not a PSW, I’m not toileting or bathing, but I can cue them with all that,” she said. “But there’s a way to do companionship and meal preparation therapeutically. I’m a therapeutic recreationist.”

Her services, which she describes as “utilizing functional intervention with participation,” extend beyond assisting those with dementia.

“Maybe you have somebody who is arthritic, and needs some assistance with housekeeping,” Reid said. “Or maybe you have a senior who doesn’t have family around and needs assistance with grocery shopping. I look at things with a different set of eyes. I’m not looking at what their barriers are. I mean, I’m aware of it, but I’m focusing on what they can do.”

The idea is to keep clients’ safely active — mentally and/or physically, depending on their circumstance — as long as she can. “I want to maintain that as long as possible,” Reid said. “Sense of self is huge. It’s always adapting.”

From her own personal standpoint, at the end of a visit with a client, Reid said she always feels rewarded.

“Oh my gosh, it’s totally satisfying,” she said. “I treat everybody as if they were my own family member. How would I want my grandmother to be treated, how would I want my grandfather to be treated? This is the field that is for me.”

Reid is based in Welland and conducts all services either in clients’ home or in care facilities, often at family members’ requests.

“Families are busy,” she said. “You can’t always take time off.”

Reid offers sliding-scale pricing based on what people can afford, and visits typically run one to two hours. “Whatever the family feels that the person needs,” she said.

Reid is also currently training a therapy dog, an Australian Shepherd/Border Collie-cross named Maverick. Clients can request the dog accompany Reid for appointments at no extra charge.

For more information, call 289-687-0358 or visit