Martin C. Barry
Elected officials from Laval, including Mayor Marc Demers and Sainte-Rose MNA Christopher Skeete, gathered at the Axion 50 Plus seniors centre in Chomedey last Monday for an announcement that L’Appui Laval will be receiving $1,476,000 over the next two years to help provide support to persons in Laval who are caregivers to senior citizens.
The amount is being provided from a fund established by the Lucie and André Chagnon Family in conjunction with the provincial government. In an address, Skeete said he understood the need to provide better support to caregivers as he was in that position at one time.
Skeete was a caregiver
“When I was younger I was a caregiver,” Skeete said, noting that he provided home care to his late mother when he was still in his teens. He said he could have used some caregiver support back then, although it wasn’t available at the time.
“I’m particularly happy that we’re going to be announcing $61,000 over two years for SCAMA, which will help the English community and the Allophone community do a little bit more and provide and provide a little bit more assistance to its people,” added Skeete who is Premier François Legault’s principal liaison to Quebec’s English-speaking community.
Services Provided to Caregivers
In a statement issued to the media, L’Appui Laval said it is committed to funding 13 projects presented by eight Laval organizations. The group said the subsidy will serve to increase and consolidate different types of services to improve the quality of life of caregivers.
According to L’Appui Laval, 66 per cent of the amount will be dedicated to respite services, for a total of $978,384 over two years. Twenty-one per cent will be allocated to psychosocial support services, totalling $305,208 over the same period.
Thirteen per cent of the amount will go to information services, including training and support, for a total of $192,523 for this purpose over two years. L’Appui Laval said the investment prioritizes respite services to prevent the exhaustion of caregivers. Services will be available during the day, evening or at night.
Three community centres will offer day group respite for a total of five days: The Centre Communautaire le Rendez-Vous des Aînés, the Centre de services communautaires et d’aide au maintien de l’autonomie (SCAMA), and the Comité d’Animation du Troisième Âge de Laval (CATAL).
L’Appui Laval said the Société Alzheimer Laval is also proposing two group respite projects. A first atypical (occasional) respite, available seven days a week, 24 hours a day, and a respite project for caregivers of people less than 65 years of age.
Regular or atypical (occasional) individual respite services in the comfort of the home are also offered by three organizations: The Association Lavalloise des Personnes Aidantes (ALPA), the Coopérative de soutien à domicile, and the Société Alzheimer Laval.
Psychosocial Support Services
L’Appui Laval said the role of the caregiver sometimes reveals concealed strengths, but sometimes the caregiver needs support at different times in his or her experience. The Société Alzheimer Laval offers home-based consultations and follow-up services, with a focus on families.
Beginning in the month of May, Parkinson Montreal-Laval will prioritize offering group meetings once a week as well as a few individual follow-ups. And the Association Lavalloise des Personnes Aidantes (ALPA) offers support groups and individual support to caregivers who feel the need.
Information Services – Training
L’Appui Laval said the caregiver needs to be informed about his or her role and to understand their loved one’s illness. As such, the Association Lavalloise des Personnes Aidantes (ALPA) offers information sessions and conferences in French and English. An assessment of caregivers is possible, with referrals and support as needed.
As well, the Hellenic Social Services of Quebec (SSHQ) offers a variety of information-training activities and mainly targets Laval’s Anglophone and Allophone clienteles.
A Priority at L’Appui Laval
L’Appui Laval said that a major challenge for all organizations providing services in Laval is to reach out to the Anglophone populations, including ethno cultural minorities. In addition to services already funded, L’Appui Laval said it is investing in a new project at a community centre in Chomedey. The Centre SCAMA will offer new respite activities aimed at reaching mainly Anglophone and Allophone clients.
L’Appui Laval has also published a handy folder in English for persons caring for a spouse, a friend, a neighbour or a friend. For more information on the services available in Laval for caregivers, L’Appui Laval invites you to contact the INFO-AIDANT phone line at 1-855-852-7784, Monday to Friday from 8 am to 8 pm.