Christmas is a time for family, for tradition and celebration. At CarePlanner we have a tradition of our own: the 12 Carers of Christmas is about celebrating home carers for the amazing work they do year round. While health care is about keeping people alive, social care is about keeping people living their best lives. Our 12 carers are uplifting examples of the power and purpose of home care, and show how critical and valuable a service it is for all of our communities.
Our seventh carer of Christmas is Suzanne Collier of Milcare. Suzanne is an organisational trainer by title, but a master of all trades by practice. She is dedicated to making each service user feel valued and validated, by tailoring her approach to meet their specific needs.
This can mean anything from giving someone home made soup, helping to wrap Christmas presents, to calling in the evening to remind them the football is on. As one client at Milcare says: “She is brilliant – she just knows what I want and nothing is too much trouble for her.”
Suzanne knows that in order to help her service users live the best life possible she has to keep them connected to the worlds they love. This means working alongside other organisations as well as collaborating with the service users themselves. Coordinator Helen Morris knows just how lucky she is to have someone like Suzanne.
“Suzanne is the ultimate example of reliability, flexibility and commitment,” says Helen. “Not a day goes by when she doesn’t have a significant impact on the wellbeing of our clients and their families.”
Patient, understanding and full of laughter, Suzanne is a champion for her colleagues as well as for her service users. She is instrumental in supporting them through their own challenges. Whether it’s mental health, family problems or personal doubts, Suzanne is always willing to provide a listening ear and a helping hand.
“She’s lovely, she has taught me so much,” says teammate Jordan. “I have never worked in care before and now I feel confident and am doing pretty good. She always takes the time to get back to me.”
What can seem like a small or simple act for some can be a moment of absolute validation for others. Suzanne understands the weight of her actions, though she wields them as deftly as feathers. A benefit of finding the right place to be yourself, as Suzanne herself explains:
“It’s been a long time since I’ve worked for a company whose values and beliefs align with mine. I’ve been in social care for almost 30 years and feel that the care has gone from the care industry for many companies, but not at Milcare. I feel passionate that people deserve decent care and it’s important that I don’t compromise this. Every day we strive to make a real difference to people’s lives and I truly believe we achieve this.”
Personalised care is about more than meeting someone’s needs. It’s about understanding the person behind those needs, the desires that formed them and the passions that keep them burning. Suzanne values everyone, and appreciates everyone has something to contribute if given the opportunity.