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Barnes goes out in style

By Staff | Apr 30, 2008

Jean Barnes

“It’s the best job I could have ever had,” Jean Barnes said Tuesday.

And she’s had the job for 29 years.

Jean was recognized Tuesday for her dedication to the clients of Emmet County Public Health. For nearly three decades, Jean has worked as a home health aide, helping elderly and handicapped people with house cleaning, bathing, grocery shopping, and other duties.

“I’ve met some very wonderful people and heard their stories,” Barnes said. “All of it’s been great, but that’s my favorite.”

Barnes feels a sense of reward in her work since she has helped keep people in their own homes. And she can empathize with that. “You want to be in your own home as long as you can,” Barnes said.

One of the saddest parts of the job, though, is when people pass away.

“It’s like losing a family member almost,” Jean said.

Jean’s husband will retire in one year, but then they plan on traveling. Meanwhile, Jean knows she’ll find plenty to do in the volunteer circuit.

“There’s a lot to do in the community,” she said.