Samuel Holmes, owner, and director of Radfield Home Care Bexhill, Hastings & Battle was finding it increasingly difficult to provide the support he felt people deserved, and in early 2017, made the life-changing decision to give up his social work career to run his own home care business.
“By running a company specialising in supporting older people, I now feel more able to provide person-centred care. I used to find it sad that the overwhelming majority of people I had contact with wanted to remain living at home but often struggled to find the support they needed to make it possible.”
As a social worker, Samuel found it increasingly difficult to deliver the kind of support he would have liked; mainly due to budget cuts, red tape and other constraints. Samuel adds,
“I had reached a point where I was frustrated by not being able to help people in the way in which I felt they deserved to be supported.”
As the owner of Radfield Bexhill, Hastings & Battle, Samuel now feels less powerless to deliver quality care services, but admits he still experiences some of his old difficulties when working with frontline health and social care staff.
Having been in their shoes, he has a good understanding of the day to day difficulties they face and tries to work with everyone as best he can. Samuel comments,
“I worked with some fantastic people in statutory services but underestimated how difficult it would be to form relationships with them as a private business owner. Many health and social care practitioners have lost a lot of their professional autonomy and are hamstrung by budget cuts. I wish it was possible to build stronger links with front-line workers.”
Samuel insists that the positives still outweigh the negatives and states,
“It is very rewarding to know that my company has provided care which has helped transform people’s lives.”
He also stipulates that care is a 24-hour job and that home care directors also need help from the beginning. He explains:
“If you can recruit a good manager from the start, it’s too much work for one person unless you intend on keeping it a micro-enterprise with only a few staff.”
His advice on the job itself is to
“Try and enjoy it, it’s very hard work but not everyone can say they do something that can make a positive difference in people’s lives.”
Empathy ‘is the cornerstone of good care work’.
Samuel explains that sometimes it’s the little things that have a big impact on people’s quality of life. For example, his staff recently looked after a couple who had a nature garden at the back of their house. He says,
“They asked the carer to spread seed over the lawn every morning so that they could sit and watch the wildlife come out and feed throughout the day. I thought this was something really nice and something that I know, not all agencies would agree to do.”
When asked what he thinks are the most important qualities to look for when hiring care workers, Samuel explained,
“I could give a list of desirable qualities, but I think primarily I look for empathy – the ability to identify with another’s feelings. It involves compassion and the ability to understand and respond to the feelings of others. Often, an empathetic response leads to a caring response and this is the cornerstone of good care work.”
Get in touch with your local Radfield Home Care office today and find out more about the support we offer and the difference we can make.