Seniors voice concerns over West Island health services

This article was published by  November 27th 2011.  To see this story and to read related stories on the website, please click here

A group of West Island seniors is speaking out about services it feels are lacking in the area.
“If you don’t have money there’s absolutely nothing that’s available,” said Maria Roussakis, whose husband has Alzheimer’s disease. “You need to have money. No money, no care.”
Roussakis lives in Kirkland and the nearest Alzheimer’s service centre is in Lachine, about 18 kilometres away.

“There’s a shortage of doctors– for those who have chronic illnesses, I think it’s important that they be seen on a regular basis,” said Queenie Andrus.

Roussakis, Andrus and close to 100 others voiced their concerns at a meeting Sunday, where Jacques-Cartier MNA Goeff Kelley listened and proposed solutions.

One suggestion was to look at the future of the Ste. Anne’s Hospital for veterans in Ste. Anne de Bellevue.

“There are empty spaces in that hospital, and if we could use that as an occasion to transform that into a centre for geriatric excellence – I think everyone on the West Island would gain from that,” said Kelley.

The cost of care is also a concern for those on fixed incomes, like senior Pam Hillier.
“I’m too old to get angry — but cynical, extremely cynical,” said Hillier. “We’re all afraid of running out of money.”

As the boomer population ages, the fears are becoming more real. According to Statistics Canada, by the year 2036, the number of people aged 80 or over could triple.

“Yes, the demand is there and more and more we’re going to find that people in this age group… will become more vocal,” said Paul Reisman from the Canadian Association of Retired Persons.

©  CTV News