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Let’s Talk About It: Location, location, language

Many seniors live in neighbourhoods that once matched their needs.

Flash forward 50 years. Some adult children left Montreal during the ’70s exodus. While travel was frequent by parents and children, eventually the parents were the ones travelling less. Over time their parents’ support system shrunk as communities changed.

Now, seniors who never mastered French might find themselves

isolated when they need support. As they begin to experience difficulties managing their daily affairs, they turn to their local CLSCs.

The Santé Montreal website, which notes that demand for home support is on the rise, says services include “nursing care, housekeeping, shopping, upkeep of clothing and small jobs.”

I find inconsistencies of service for many of my clients. Some seniors receive excellent services from their local CLSCs such as help with bathing, housekeeping, shopping, and nursing care. But other clients with similar needs are receiving only one service.

Some say it’s hard to communicate with case workers not fluent in English. Only three CSSSs provide full English services —Cavendish, de la Montagne and West Island Health and Social Services Centre—according to Santé Montreal. Other CLSCs provide partial English services.

It’s not just about language. Some clients are on waiting lists to meet case workers, only to find there is another waiting list for home support.Recently “Mr. Smith” fell and spent months in the hospital. Before the fall, he had received a few hours of home support. Although extra services were needed when he returned home, he was told there would be a six month waiting period.

Most seniors would like to age at home. It’s real estate all over again: location location location.

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