Lisa Morris, a home health aide from Bergenfield, visits her former client, John Homza, 94, in East Brunswick. Photo by Jennifer S. Altman

New Jersey has almost 39,000 home health aides, but you might never see one. The aides take care of the elderly and the disabled, helping them stay in their homes and out of institutions. Working behind gates in retirement communities and assisted-living centers, in private homes and apartments, aides are visible only when they take their charge out for the occasional walk or appointment.
Aides sleep in back rooms and on sofas, lightly, in case their charge wakes up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. Sometimes they don’t get any rest at all. One aide in Middlesex County won a lawsuit against her home-care agency after her client repeatedly startled her awake in the middle of the night, contributing to a stroke.
Home health …
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