I met Albert in 2014 when my previous husband was very ill. I needed help and the hospital suggested an agency. The guy brought out Albert. He had recently moved from Ghana. He came over on a student visa to get his RN degree here.
He was a very, very good caretaker. He really knew what to do because in his village in Ghana, he functioned as a doctor since the closest physicians were hour hours away. Albert’s dream was to one day build a medical center in his village.
He asked me if he could call me Grandma. And I said, “Sure, what’s one more?”
After my husband passed and Albert was with me through the whole thing. He was so good. We had planned to take him up to Northern California, where we lived, but he got too sick. So, I told Albert, well, you were going to go with me to take Lee up to Northern California, but we can’t do that now. But I’ve got to go up there and pack and move down here to my daughter’s. So I said, “If you want to go with me and help me, I’ll pay you some, but I can’t pay you the caretaking fees.
He said, “That’s all right, Grandma. It’s not about the money. I want to help you.”
I thought, wouldn’t it be great to get a caretaking job for him close by because he was almost like part of the family then.
I thought about it and to see if I can figure out someone that might need one. I was at the tire shop getting a new tire and got to talking to a lady there. She knew my daughter and went to her church. I asked her, “Do you happen to know anyone that could use a really good caretaker?”
She said, “Well, I might.” Two days later, these people in Palos Verdes called and said they needed a caretaker. They asked what he charged. I said, “I don’t know, but he’s worth his weight in gold; I can tell you that for sure!”
So, they asked if he could come for an interview. They asked me to stay during the interview in case I had things to add. By the time we left, I was pretty sure he had the job. On his way home, Albert called to let me know they hired him.
He took care of the woman who had Alzheimer’s until she passed. Then he took care of the husband who said that Albert was just like a son to him; he didn’t have any children of his own. When the elderly man passed, he had kindly willed some of his money to Albert. With this inheritance, Albert was able to complete the medical center he had started building in the Ghanaian village.
Albert had also started his caretaking business by that time. He started it in San Pedro, then he moved it to Beverly Hills. He now has three locations in southern California. And he says over and over, “I owe it all to you, Grandma.”
But I said, “You did a lot of it yourself. You helped yourself.” He’s doing really well now.
He really cares about people. That’s what I like about him.