She could be 60 years old. She might be 20. No matter how old she is, if she is in the field of providing in home care to the sick, elderly or disabled, she will be known as a “girl” even if she is not a young, female child or relatively young woman. At least that is how it goes in my neck of the woods here in the greater New York City area.
I have watched many friends of my parents age into the need for a girl to live with them or work on a part time basis. This can be a type of status symbol because it is not cheap to hire a girl, and not everyone who needs help can afford it. Girls typically travel with their employers on outings to the store or the doctor so it is a display of wealth in a sense.
It might be whispered among a group of elderly friends: “She had to get a girl”, signalling the beginning of the end of one’s independence.
There seems to be legions of girls living with their families in Brooklyn where they often leave them to go to work each day or even by the week.
I myself have hired girls for short periods following surgery to help in my post op period.
When I recently went to the surgeon this week for a follow up appointment with my girl, I introduced her to some staff there who have known me a while. They have been aware of my disability.
I spoke on the phone with the staff member who met her the next day to change an appointment. She commented that my girl seemed great, and asked if I thought so, too. Next she asked if she was with me all the time. I agreed that she was very nice, and told her she is just with me for my 2 week post op period.
I see that I could be perceived as someone who needs a full time girl because of my disability. I am oh so grateful that I don’t need one yet.
Thank you for reading :)