Extendicare Holyrood

Ana Maria Monroy Cortes shares a special bond with her home care client

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Today, on Health Care Aide Day, we’re sharing stories of some of our dedicated team members.

Ana Maria Monroy Cortes feels like she gets back more than she gives in her role as a health care aide.

She shares a close bond with the client she cares for a few days per week as a part-time health care aide for ParaMed Home Health Care Services in Manitoba.

“She’s like family to me. We’re both there for each other,” she says. Ana Maria, 22, moved to Canada six years ago from her native Colombia, settling with her brother in the small town of Minnedosa, outside of Brandon.

At the encouragement of teachers at her high school, she took a course to become a health care aide and has been working in the field ever since she graduated at 18.

Ana Maria and her ParaMed client have been together throughout her young career – for the past year at ParaMed and for the three previous years with a different home care provider. When her client decided to transfer services to ParaMed in 2020, Ana Maria also made the move and continued caring for her.

“She’s very special. I came here when I was quite young. They opened their doors to me when I was a stranger,” she says. “I know how to bake because of her. I know how to cook because of her. Even her children are so kind to me.”

It’s a busy life and sometimes difficult, particularly during the pandemic.

“Going through COVID, you can really see the effects on the seniors – the loneliness and not being able to see their families.”

But despite the challenges, she finds caring for others rewarding. She’s considering returning to school to study nursing and expand her qualifications.

“I like to help people. I like to be closer to those who need company. That’s what I’m doing, helping people,” she says.