Extendicare Holyrood

Elpidio Alviles has created a better future for his family through his work as a Health Care Aide

Four years after he left his home in the Philippines and moved to Canada in search of a better life, Elpidio Alviles already feels like his gamble has paid off.

An internationally trained nurse with several years of experience in hospitals and community settings, Elpidio, 44, has been working for more than three years as a health care aide for ParaMed Home Health Care Services in Winnipeg, providing care to patients inside their homes.

Not only does the position allow him to pursue his passion for helping people, but also it provides Elpidio, his wife and their four-year-old son a standard of living they didn’t have amid the political and economic instability in the Philippines.

“I wanted to come to Canada for a better future for my family,” he says. “I feel blessed that it’s working out.”

Elpidio has a roster of regular clients he visits each shift and enjoys providing care that brightens their days.

“It makes you feel good when they say thank you and they appreciate you, especially seniors who really need help,” he says. “It really warms your heart. Then you know the rest of your day is going to be okay.”

In addition to his role on the frontlines, Elpidio says he experienced the strength of Canada’s public health-care system firsthand as a patient when he battled COVID-19 last winter.

Elpidio contracted the virus last December, before vaccines were available in Canada, and became seriously ill. He spent more than two weeks in a hospital ICU and was close to being put on a respirator before his condition improved and he recovered.

Fortunately, Elpidio recognized his symptoms and isolated himself, preventing his family members from becoming infected.“The health-care system here treated me so well. I was one of the lucky ones to survive,” he says.

He likes being part of the broader health system that delivers such important care.

“It can be a difficult job sometimes, but the thanks you get make it worth it,” he says. “They say thank you, please come back. You can feel the sincerity when they say it."