The Bond Between an African Caregiver and Her New Jersey ‘Mum’


Ama Serwaa left her home in Ghana seven years ago and now lives in a small apartment in northern New Jersey, caring for a woman she calls Mum.

In the morning, Ms. Serwaa, 61, wakes and helps June Gilbert, the 88-year-old “Mum,” shower and dress. After breakfast, they take a one-mile walk, Mrs. Gilbert using her walker and Ms. Serwaa at her side pausing often to let her rest. Mrs. Gilbert talks about her children and tells stories about growing up in a small town in Massachusetts. Ms. Serwaa teaches her words and phrases from her African homeland.

The two of them, though from far different worlds and backgrounds, have formed a bond that might seem unlikely but has become increasingly common.

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