Mount Royal MP Anthony Housefather last week announced $922,025 in federal funding for the Cummings Centre Therapeutic Dementia Care Program, operated at the Drop-in Program for Older Adults at the Aquatic and Community Centre in Côte St. Luc.
The announcement at the ACC in CSL was also attended by users of the centre and their caregivers, D’Arcy McGee MNA David Birnbaum and his predecessor Lawrence Bergman, CSL Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, councillors David Tordjman and Mitch Kujavsky and former councillor Allan Levine; and the Cummings Centre’s Pauline Grunberg (executive director) and Annette Oliel (president), as well as program director Erica Botner.
The centre, which opened following the ending of the program at the CLSC René Cassin, initially received $390,913 from the federal government over three years. The latest funding — larger proportionally than the first — is for a period lasting 46 months, two months short of four years.
The funding was made available through the government’s Dementia Community Investment under Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor.
“I have watched the program operate successfully and help caregivers who desperately need respite and seniors who deserve these stimulating programs,” Housefather stated. “With the funding running out, I worked closely with the Cummings Centre, Mayor Brownstein and Côte Saint-Luc, David Birnbaum and his office and the federal Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas Taylor to find funding for this wonderful Drop-in Program and I am absolutely thrilled to announce funding that will sustain and improve the program over four years. I am proud to be part of a government that prioritizes the health and well-being of people who live with dementia and their caregivers.”
Birnbaum stated that he was happy to be “part of a group that initiated the Drop-in Program and has worked to maintain it.”
Brownstein said that CSL “has benefited so much through being a partner in a project serving so many within our community. The use of our Aquatic and Community Centre for this program fits both the mission of the building and the needs of our local residents.
Grunberg stated that the Cummings Centre is “pleased to use our expertise to run the Drop-in Program. My team, led by Erica Botner, has done phenomenal work over the last three years and we look forward to continuing and enhancing our program offering.”
Botner told last week’s gathering that the new funding will enable the centre to “optimize the well-being of people living with dementia and their caregivers, be able to continue the drop-in program and also expand services for caregivers and explore what a dementia-friendly community is really about with our partners. We’ll also be able to promote the awareness of dementia and its modifiable risk factors.”
The program is implemented in partnership with engAGE, Concordia University’s Centre for Research on Aging.