By Yolanda De López
(Originally appeared in Immigration, March 2014)
I like my work as a home health aide because I like eldercare. My clients are like my grandparents and I enjoy hearing the stories of when they were young. I like to feed them and help them in their home. You try not to get attached to them because they are people who are not going to live a long time, and when they die you will suffer.
The client I have now is very sweet and kind. I work with him Monday through Friday, 8 hours daily. He feels well protected by me. I accompany him to doctor’s appointments. I give him his medicine on schedule and clean his home. He likes me to read the newspaper to him.
In this life, it is better to give than to receive. I recommend working as a home health aide because it is one of the best ways to start here in this country. You do not need a college degree. You only need to take a short training course. When you get to this country without speaking English, it is very difficult to find work. But doing this job makes you feel like a useful person. You are helping and serving other people.
Yolanda De López is a student in the ESL Program at the 1199SEIU Bill Michelson Home Care Education Fund in New York City. She is from the Dominican Republic and has been working as a home health aide in New York City for four years. She has one daughter and is expecting her second child in early 2014. Her goal is to become a nurse.
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