Carer in the Spotlight - An interview with Sylvie Potts
Sylvie has been with Hamilton George for two years. We wanted to know why and when she became a carer and how she connects with her clients.
Tell me a bit about yourself and your background
I'm an adventurer, always open to new experiences, people and places. I really enjoy a challenge!
I’ve travelled around Europe working in health, skincare, holistic practice and nutrition. I began my career working within the NHS in community rehabilitation, before moving on to BUPA where I looked after sick children.I’m very family orientated and love spending time with my family when I can - I have three sons and three grandchildren!
Why did you want to be a carer?
Care suits me by nature and I've always cared for others. Even from a young age I was always out offering my babysitting services around the neighbourhood and volunteering at my local hospital - it brings me joy to be of help others.
What do you think makes a good carer?
It’s obviously really important to have empathy and be able to put others' needs first. Having so much one-on-one time means that you have to be a willing and active listener, able to adapt to change. Having emotional intelligence and a sense of humour also helps!
What are the highs and lows of care?
Care brings a complex mix of emotions. I think it’s the most rewarding thing you can ever do! I love that I’m making a real tangible difference to someone's life, building trust and witnessing a flourishing bonding relationship. It can also be hard work, tiring and isolating so it’s very important to learn to manage your stress and recognise the risk of burning out. That said, every placement is unique and by having a clear schedule and a strong support team I’m personally enjoying getting in touch with my spiritual side. I’m nurturing and strengthening my sense of well-being and calmness, which in turn transfers to my clients.
How do you connect with your clients?
I make connections with positivity and humour. I love learning more about people and delving deeper into their psyche but it's important not to bombard them with questions. As a carer it can be hugely valuable to know about your clients life, personality, preferences and their interests. However it is also vital that you have the emotional intelligence to know when to step back.
What’s been a career/placement highlight so far?
Being a carer gives you a unique insight into a person’s life and some of my placements have taken me to places i never would have expected - living in a castle has definitely been a highlight. Personally I have also enjoyed the chance to get in touch with my spiritual side and I hope that my sense of well-being and calmness transfers to my clients. If I am in a good healthy place then all the better for my calibre of care.
What advice would you give to think about someone considering working in care?
To anyone thinking about a career in care I would advise they have plenty of support from family and friends, as being away from home working on your own can be isolating. The support I’ve had from the team at Hamilton George has been invaluable. As I also mentioned it definitely helps if you have a natural ability to care, are empathetic and a good listener. My top tip however would be to go with the flow, enjoy being with your client and take comfort in the care you are providing and the change you are making to their life.