Ask George H. which care aide he wants to accompany him on his shopping trips to North Vancouver and he’ll tell you there’s only one guy who can do the job properly: Charles Gali. Charles has only been a care aide at Three Links for eight months, but he has managed to develop a substantial entourage of fans during that time. When I asked him what his secret is, he tells me that it’s all about having the patience to build trust. “I ask residents every day how they’re doing, and once they’re more comfortable with me, I ask them more about their lives,” he says. “And if I tell them I’m going to do something, I do it.”

Charles has also been filling in as a Recreation Aide recently. “I always say ‘yes’ immediately when they offer me a recreation shift. Playing games with the residents reminds me of my childhood. I’m having fun.”

Charles worked as a nurse in the Philippines for two years before immigrating to Canada with his mom, dad, and younger brother and sister. Like many nurses who immigrate to Canada, Charles is working as a care aide as he completes the requirements to become requalified as a nurse. He will get the results of his exams this December and hopes to continue working with seniors in long-term care as a nurse. “I love it,” says Charles.

Someday, Charles’ dream is to own a farm where he can become self-sufficient by growing his own crops and raising livestock. He loves the peacefulness of the rural lifestyle. He’ll definitely have a dog, and will be taking time away from the farm to travel to Paris to visit the Louvre and to Greece and Italy to see ancient architecture. No doubt he’ll still be taking the time to share a smile and listening ear with the seniors he meets along the way.