GA ElderCare & Wellness Services provides in-home, non-medical care and companionship.
For Paula Greenberg, taking care of her 85-year-old mother and 92-year-old father is her full-time job. She says she wouldn’t trade it for the world.
“I am blessed to have my parents here, and I never take that for granted,” says Greenberg, 55, an Owings Mills resident. “My sister and I used to care for them together, but when she passed away in February I became their primary caretaker, and it was a stressful time. I needed to come up with a support system and team for myself.”
Greenberg turned to Gregory Asch of GA ElderCare & Wellness Services for help.
“Greg has been so helpful this past year, and I really don’t know what I would do without him,” says Greenberg. “Having Greg around to help my parents is like having another member of the family help.”
GA ElderCare is an in-home, non-medical care service. As a home health aide, Asch reminds clients to take their medicine, helps with activities of daily living (grooming, shaving and bathing), transportation, light housekeeping and provides companionship.
“I allow people to thrive at home while they are aging and let them feel as independent as possible,” says Asch, who graduated from Pikesville High School in 1982. “I work to see life through my clients’ eyes and listen to their daily struggles, and then try to come up with a plan to alleviate those hardships.”
While Asch doesn’t have medical training, he is CPR, AED and first aid certified and has two part-time certified nursing assistants on staff.
Asch began his journey in home health care eight years ago when a high school friend asked him to help with her father, who had Alzheimer’s disease. Asch would go visit the client every Sunday to watch sports and take him to dinner. From there, he was referred to his next case and GA ElderCare was born.
“This is a way for me to reconnect with my grandparents’ generation,” says Asch, a Baltimore native. “My first grandfather passed away when I was 10, and I feel like I lost a lot of time with him. After he passed away, my grandmother moved in with my family and I remember being connected to her hip. This job reminds me of that connection.”
Currently, Asch has 10 clients. When called upon, Asch will go into a client’s home for an assessment and determine his fee based on the level of care needed.
“When I go in to meet a family, I usually break the ice with some humor or just by talking about Baltimore,” says Asch. “My whole family is from Baltimore, so most of the time the person I am meeting with will know someone in my family. I like to let the family meet me, and if we click, it’s heaven.”
Asch says one of his favorite parts of his job is getting to know about the pasts of the families he works with.
“They are walking history books,” he says. “It’s amazing to hear them talk about old Baltimore stores and the Colts. We talk about everything from the first president they voted for to how they met their spouses. They are just filled with great stories.”
Asch started his career in the food business at the age of 14. He became a bagel baker and worked in food hospitality until he began GA ElderCare. While Asch says he loved working in the food industry, he believes working with older adults is what he was meant to do professionally.
“I love my job so much that it really doesn’t feel like work,” says Asch. “If I had known how much I would enjoy this and realized how rewarding it would be, I would have started working in home health care 20 years ago.”
To Asch, his clients become his family, and to his clients, the feeling is mutual.
“Greg calls my parents Nan and Pop,” says Greenberg. “He is part of our family now. Even on his days off, he will go over to visit my parents and bring my dad his favorite cakes and cookies. I’ve known Greg for years, and this is his calling. He just goes over and beyond in caring for my parents.”
For information, call 410-458-8179 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aliza Friedlander is a Baltimore-based freelance writer.