When the New Year, 2014 came in, I wanted to do something drastic with my life. I wanted a great change, something exciting, and meaningful. My two oldest kids, ages 21 and 19 were out doing their own thing; and my youngest, the 17 year old, well I only existed to him when he wanted a ride somewhere, money, or food lol. My dating life was crappy, and my friends and I schedules could never seem to coordinate with each other so we could hang out. I felt over worked and underpaid at work so I felt, Why not make a big change? I have raised my kids and I still have life so why not look back into accomplishing some of my goals. Well one of those goals was to move to the Big Apple, New York City. So being the impulsive person that I am. I pumped myself up, resigned from my job, left my place, and on February 18, 2014 I flew to Brooklyn NY….
Once I got settled into Brooklyn and had enough sightseeing and eating out. I began looking for a job. Now back in Atlanta I was a Communications Officer so I felt it should be fairly easy get into that field in New York. But I soon found out that was not the case. New York hiring practices were quite different from Atlanta and much more difficult and had I done my research before making such a big step, I would have known that. So knowing that I will have to work somewhere until I could get into the Public Safety field, I started searching for jobs. In my search I seen that being a Nanny, Caregiver, or Dog Walker was big in Brooklyn and in some cases paid fairly well. So since I am a nurturing person anyway and loved helping people I felt I would fit very well into that field. And again that field had some red tap to peel through, however it was only 4 weeks of training to become a NY State Certified Home Health Aide, where one would assist sickly elderly or physically challenged people with daily activities around their home or even accompany them on outings such as doctor’s appointments or grocery shopping. I felt this job would be right up my alley, I felt I could make a go of it and really take it to the next level. I love elderly people and with some of them being so lonely, I really wanted to help and be involved. So I applied for the training and soon after I began.
While going through the training I began to realize that the training that was being crammed into a 4 week course was more like being a CAN (Certified Nurse Asst.) except without the actual certification. I mean the things an HHA had to; dealing with catheters, ostomy care, grooming, mouth care, vitals, and more depending on the patient’s needs. Additional to that the HHA would perform Personal Care assistance duties like light house cleaning, cooking meals according to the patients care plan, grocery shopping and planning, accompanying the patient to outdoor places, and being a companion. And Guess what this job paid a whopping $10.00 an hour and $150.00 a day if you were a live in HHA. Lol why? Is it because the person did not actually go to a nursing school? Why are HHA’s good enough to be a patients nurse, housekeeper, and companion, but not good enough to be paid for the greatness that they do? In lots of cases HHA’s are their patients everything. They are often times the first and only person the elderly or physically challenged see’s every day since family members are too busy living their own lives. These men and women take on lots of stress having to deal with someone’s mood and trying to please them every day, all while picking up after them, taking care of them, and in the meantime stressing on how to pay their own bills because they are so underpaid. This job requires a very selfless and caring person and simply because of their education level, they are not paid the appropriate pay. But that’s America, the less you do, the more you get paid, and the harder you work, the less you get paid…. Example: Why would a basketball player be paid more than a doctor that saves lives? It’s sickening..
In the end, I chose that this job was not for me, I want to assist people in another form, such as in Social Work which is a degree I’m working on now. But as I said earlier, to be a Home Health Aide or Caregiver of any sort, it takes a good selfless and caring person. You definitely have to do it for the love of helping over getting the money. However it is still a much underpaid job that gives an overload if stress. I pray one that someone will take a second look and realize that these people really need more praise, attention, and money for what they do.