Volunteers for elderly face challenging times

Barbara, Theresa, Louise, Raymonde, Dominique and Linda Legault at Raymonde's 87th birthday celebration in 2019. 

Linda Legault retired last year and is a volunteer for West Island Citizen Advocacy. She cares for two elderly women aged 88 and 97. The additional challenges she faces due to the restrictions imposed by the government for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 raised concerns for her and although she managed to resolve the issues surrounding her clients, she worries about others who are in similar situations without someone checking up on them daily.

“I worry about the people that do not have dedicated volunteers, or anyone at all to help micromanage their specific needs.” Legault told The Suburban.

The semi-autonomous living residence that houses her two clients only serves a daily lunch to the residents and they are tasked with making arrangements for breakfast and dinner. “Normally I take them to the bank and to do groceries, but right now I cannot and I purchased the groceries for them with my own money.” Legault explained to The Suburban. “I cannot let them starve, but this makes me worry about elderly people who are faced with similar circumstances and do not have a social worker or volunteer checking up on them.”

“Right now, it is very difficult and senior people are suffering on different levels and need specific types of care on a case by case basis.”

Legault persistently shared her concerns with the residence and social workers using her clients situation as an example. Thanks to her efforts to raise awareness of the effects of the crisis that residents we’re living with, the people in charge of the residence agreed to provide a program for all of their residents to purchase essential foods such as bread, milk and cheese directly from the residence delivered to their door. “Not all of the residents have social workers or volunteers looking out for them, I wanted to be sure that everyone was getting the basic help that they need.” Legault said.

In the six weeks that the residence has been closed, Legault makes the effort to contact her clients 2-3 times daily to keep them company and to make sure that they feel cared for. "It brings me a lot of joy to accompany elderly people, I enjoy spending time with them." 

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