Did you know that members of ethnocultural minorities make little use of the services offered to caregivers of seniors? Their needs are no less important, but there additional obstacles to access services.

Lack of awareness of available services and communication barriers are often the primary causes of lower demand for services. In Laval, there are a variety of services adapted to caregivers, including those from immigrant backgrounds. There are information, training, support, and respite services. Sometimes accompaniment by a person from the same community is possible. The service can be offered in the person's mother tongue when an employee is available to do so.

Also, not all countries have structures in place to support caregivers of seniors. It seems natural for immigrant families to take care of their aging relatives without waiting for outside help. In an immigration context, the family network may be limited to a few people. As a result, the help the caregiver obtains from his or her family and friends may also be limited. The caregiver may isolate himself or herself and the risk of exhaustion becomes greater.

Entrusting your loved one, for example to a respite service, is not abandonment. It allows the caregiver to recharge their batteries and breathe a few hours to continue to provide the best care or to continue to work.  Often, family members do not understand what it takes to be a caregiver and what the person helping is going through. They may not understand why the caregiver is asking for help. Other reasons may explain the reluctance to seek external assistance also.

Whether you are a member of an ethnocultural community or not, letting a stranger into your home and having to answer questions can be unsettling or worrisome. Just know the questions you will be asked are intended to help better understand your loved one’s story, to know their habits, identify the care and services required, and get to know their preferences or interests.

These exchanges also aim to better understand what you experience on a daily basis by taking care of your loved one and to better identify your own needs as a caregiver. The interveners are bound by professional secrecy and what you entrust to them is confidential.    

Although all organizations supported by l’Appui Laval can serve you, two are more specific to an ethnocultural clientele; the SCAMA Centre and SSHQ. Feel free to contact the Caregiver support by e-mail at info-aidant@lappui.org or by phone at 1-855-852-7784. Counsellors are available to answer your questions or simply listen to you Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Beyond the ethnocultural backgrounds, we have a common goal; to take care of your loved one.  In these organizations, everyone also care about your well-being as a caregiver!

To learn more about the services offered at the Centre SCAMA, including group respite services, contact 450-681-4240 at extension 35. To find out more about SSHQ's services; contact 450-688-2091.

Caregiver Testimony
“The role of community service centres in my life, as a caregiver, was extremely important. They accompanied my mother during her loss of autonomy with care, affection and, especially, with patience. They offered me, personally, the opportunity to continue my family and professional life at a regular pace. I admit that their support was psychological – for my morale!”

- Roula Chalhoub, daughter of Samira Farajallah, Centre SCAMA, 2019