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It’s all about helping people for Neva Hayman.
The home health care manager and certified fitter at Lawtons Home Healthcare, on Willow Street in Truro, talked about the best part of her job.
“Most of all, I love the people,” she said, adding she has been in the job for 13 years.
Hayman said it’s about compassion when you deal with people in vulnerable conditions, often elderly, many dealing with chronic pain.
“They could be palliative, many just had surgery, that kind of thing, and sometimes they don’t have anyone as far as family,” she said, adding, when necessary, they’ll make sure those who aren’t mobile get what they need.
“Those are the things that are so nice,” she said.
Going the extra mile of care may be a business practice for Hayman, but it’s an attitude that carries over to life away from work as well.
She talked about Christmas a couple of years ago when, with her son recently moving from home to attend the RCMP depot in Regina and begin his career, she and her daughter decided the best way to fill the void was by volunteering.
“We volunteered with Christmas at the Café, my daughter and I cleaned up dishes,” she said, noting the event was a combination of moving stories, both sad and happy, but, most importantly, shared.
“We went back the next year and did it again,” she said, adding in a story about a girl wanting to sing Christmas carols at the event. The girl asked Hayman if she thought it would be OK. She passed the request along to organizers and the young girl’s day was made further by her chance to sing.
“It was so nice … there are so many acts of kindness out there,” she said.
That is what makes the lifelong Truro and area resident a proud Maritimer.
She talked about a recent story she saw on TV which suggested, in this time when everyone is required or encouraged to wear masks, Maritimers are better to equipped to communicate with one another.
“I thought that was nice,” she said, noting it suggests a “close knit” community across the three provinces.
“And this, right here,” she said, gesturing to strands of cloth featuring the Nova Scotian tartan, which were being used in Tim Horton's to indicate an open table from a closed one, as part of the business’ COVID safety protocols. Hayman said the cloth has been up since the tragedy started in Portapique last April and it’s an example of unspoken communication which brings Nova Scotians together, as well as friends and visitors from P.E.I. and New Brunswick.
“Really, we’re all pretty close,” she said.
The ‘Ocean’s Playground’ locale also plays into Hayman’s recreation side as, she noted, her go-to locations usually involve sand and water.
“Beaches, anytime, anywhere,” she said with a chuckle.
She says spontaneity and an adventurous spirit are part of her fun side too.
“Just about anything and everything; somebody will call me and say, ‘let’s go to Cape Split,’ and I’ll say, ‘alright, let’s do it,’” she said, offering an example.
A highlight of that spirit came a few years ago when she was talked into, by her daughter and a friend of her daughter’s, and for a good cause, tackling Mud Hero at Ski Martock, near Windsor.
“Obstacles in the mud, six kilometers, I think. It was quite something, some of the obstacles were hard. I was really proud I did it,” she said.
Hayman recently participated in our question and answer session.
Q. What is your full name?
Neva Dawn Hayman
Q. Where and when were you born?
Q. Where do you currently live?
North River (on the water)
Q. What’s your favourite place in the world?
A beach or at home, with family
Q. Who do you follow on social media?
My daughter says her, my friends say everyone, I would say somewhere in between.
Q. What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I’m related to Anna Swan, the Hermit of Gully Lake and Sir John. A MacDonald.
Q. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
Being a single parent, but that is also the most rewarding; watching mom and dad as they passed.
Q. Can you describe one experience that has changed your life?
Watching children leave home.
Q. What is your greatest indulgence?
Besides chocolate … being with my children.
Q. What is your favourite movie or book?
The Titanic, The Notebook and Christmas Vacation.
Q. How do you relax?
Various ways, it depends on what I feel like doing.
Q. What is your greatest fear?
My children being harmed emotionally, physically.
Q. What is your most treasured possession?
Q. What is your best quality?
I have been told I make people feel special.
Q. What is your biggest regret?
I always used to say not having enough money for my children, but now I see it differently.
Q. What three people would you invite to your dream dinner?
(I have a) difficult time limiting to just three: parents (who have passed), children, granddaughter, and Oprah Winfrey.
Q. How would you describe your personal fashion statement?