By Katherine Harvey-Pinard
Medical visits to Montreal can be stressful for people who come alone from outside. The Les Accordailles organization, through its CoopéRégions project, offers complete support to adults aged 50 and over in the region who must travel to and stay in Montreal for medical appointments.
The organization has been offering this kind of support in its sector, the Plateau Mont-Royal, for several years now. It receives approximately 1,200 requests annually.
In March 2018, he implemented a pilot project with people from Abitibi-Témiscamingue who wanted support during their medical visits to Montreal. Given its success, the organization decided to expand its initiative across the province.
All residents of the South Shore, from Longueuil to Salaberry-de-Valleyfield via Candiac and Châteauguay, can now benefit from it.
Volunteers, mostly nursing trainees, adapt to the needs of visitors and provide assistance at different levels.
“Each case is different,” says Éric Côté, in charge of the project. Sometimes people just need help finding accommodation. Others want support for the whole day because it’s difficult to be alone in the hospital. ”
With your support, the organization takes a load off the shoulders of seniors across Quebec for whom a visit to Montreal can be worrying.
“Just looking at the screen to see if it’s their turn to pass, it stresses seniors a lot,” explains Mr. Côté. Our volunteers know hospitals well. Having someone who knows about it reassures them. ”
The project also gives rise to great encounters, while the volunteers sometimes make friends with the people they support. Éric Côté gives the example of an Abitibi woman who has been coming to Montreal every month for a year and a half.
“We try to place the same volunteers with the same people when they come back,” he says. There are volunteers who keep in touch with the person to find out how she is, to find out if she has an appointment soon. ”
Note also that in these times of pandemic, volunteers wear masks, visors and have disinfectant with them at all times when accompanying visitors.