AN EASTER CELEBRATION TO BRING TOGETHER THE WEST ISLAND’S ELDER FRIENDS

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Photo: 98-year-old Mr. Barette found a family with Little Brothers and a friend in Mrs. Heck, a volunteer with the organization. Photo credit: Gilles Pilette.

by Jeremy Reid

On Sunday, the 27th of March, Little Brothers West Island has prepared an Easter event for their Elder Friends. The organization, which accompanies lonely seniors throughout the year, has arranged to bring their elder friends to the Cabane à Sucre Lalande for breakfast to celebrate Easter.

In order to facilitate travel, volunteers have come together to drive the Elder Friends to the event, and will be there throughout the meal to share in conversation. Those whose health does not permit them to travel will receive a visit at their residence or nursing home on March 26th, with flowers donated by Camille Florist in Pierrefonds. The Little Brothers organization looks to help lonely elders beyond just the shared meal, providing friendly visits, a family-type support network, and a referral service all year long.

Nearly one out of five seniors in Quebec experience loneliness; studies show that this causes both mental and physical distress, is more harmful than cigarettes, and just as dangerous as obesity. “Isolation is hard to avoid as we get older,” says Caroline Sauriol, director general of the association. “For those going through it, solitude is the worst possible suffering, and there’s only one solution: the presence of an attentive and caring individual.” Thanks to the public’s generous donations, close to 1,200 seniors have found a family with Little Brothers. With more than 1,600 volunteers, they are the only organization which stays with seniors until their last breath, making more than 14,000 home visits per year. Like Little Brothers West Island, fourteen other teams located in eleven regions of Quebec will offer an Easter celebration for their Elder Friends. For more information about the organization, to make a donation, or to become a volunteer, visit www.petitsfreres.ca or call 514-247-1282.

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