Tuesday, 11 June 2013

"They're my second family" — health care aide

Genita Bailey has worked as a personal care aide for Creekside Support Services in the Mill Creek area in Edmonton for the past 12 years. But it’s more than a job to her: it’s like a second family. Genita says she has worked in nursing homes and hospitals before, but there’s something different at Creekside. “I really feel close to the people I work with,” she says. “I know them on a very personal basis and if they’re having a few challenges, I pray with them and try to help.”

CSS was in danger of losing their contract from Alberta Health Services. However, AHS reversed their decision last week, meaning Genita and the other staff kept their jobs.  “We’re a team here,” Genita says. “If someone needs some help we ask other people to help us. I just don’t do personal care — I get to cook for people and help them with meals. I really enjoy that.”

Personal care aides are a very special breed of people. Not everyone can perform what they do with ease and dignity. Genita is one of them. She loves her job for many reasons but here’s the biggest: “My daughter is sick and I can’t be around hospitals because of infections I might pass on to her. But I can work here, and help people — and not worry about passing an infection to my daughter.”