Partners in Care home health aide (HHA) Angela R. grew up in Trinidad, in a home big enough to house three generations: her grandparents, her parents, and Angela and her nine siblings. In the late 1960s, her beloved grandmother had a stroke, and Angela pitched in as her mother Brinnette took care of her—a foretaste of their future careers.
A decade later, Brinnette and Angela had moved to Brooklyn. Given the experience Brinette had gained caring for her mother, she knew she wanted to work as a home health aide. She applied at Partners in Care in 1979, went through training, and began her career. Angela attended high school, where she excelled in science and social studies. A year after graduating, she joined her mother at Partners in Care as a home health aide. (Brinnette, long retired, has moved back to Trinidad.)
Throughout her career, Angela has provided care and companionship to more than 400 clients, most recently for two. Lamar*, a former exterminator in his late 60s, says he wishes Angela would never leave. Even though Lamar is what Angela describes as “the silent type,” he is so grateful for her care that he called the Partners in Care offices to express his appreciation for her “incredible efficiency” during her shifts at his apartment. “Angela is the best,” he says. “She just knows what to do, and does it.”
Until recently, Angela also cared for Audrey*, a former Partners in Care HHA herself. Audrey would often tell Angela how much she loves her, which was music to her caretaker’s ears. “I always go the extra mile to make a patient’s home better,” Angela says.
Angela plans to stay on the job another seven years, until she’s eligible to enroll in Social Security. “For more than three decades, I’ve loved my work and my patients, especially those who have no family nearby,” she says. “When I retire, I’ll regret having to say goodbye—not only to my patients, but also to my friends and supervisors at Partners in Care, who have done so much for me.”
* The clients’ names have been changed for privacy.