Montreal

Rivière-des-Prairies residents upset over CLSC day centre move

RDP residents have started an online petition to keep the CLSC's day centre in the borough. They say moving it will cause problems for the many seniors who use the services.

Seniors will have to travel to a different borough as of next month

The buildings poses safety concerns for patients with reduced mobility says the CLSC. (Google Maps)

Rivière-des-Prairies residents are upset that some services at their local CLSC day centre are moving to another borough next month.

The centre will close in February and more than 100 seniors will have to go to the Pierre-Joseph Triest centre in the neighbouring borough of Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve.

Melissa Di Lena, a resident of RDP, was shocked when she heard about the closure. Di Lena says her family and many members of the community rely heavily on the CLSC's services.

She started an online petition in early January to stop the closure.

"Why would they be closing something that our community needs?" Di Lena said. "Each community should have a CLSC that's multifunctional."

The day centre offers services to more than 100 seniors to help them preserve their independence.

Safety concerns

Danièle Bernard, who heads the program to promote independence of the elderly at the Centre intégré universitaire de santé et services sociaux de l'Est-de-L'Île-de-Montreal (CIUSSS) — the umbrella organization that oversees CLSCs and CHSLDs in Montreal's East End — says the decision to move the centre was made after safety concerns came up.

"Our clientele has changed a lot," Bernard said. "Many years ago, the day centre was mostly just for seniors to socialise but that's no longer the case."

The building is not well suited for people with reduced mobility, Bernard she.

"People who come now get around with adapted transit. These are clients with serious loss of independence."

'We need these services'

Bernard denied that the closure was a cost-cutting measure, adding that no jobs will be eliminated in the process.

She said most of the seniors will get to the new centre in Mercier by adapted transit. 

However, about a dozen patients who aren't eligible for adapted transit, and officials are still working to find a solution for them.

"We need these services. Why should they take it away from us? There's already jokes about RDP but the fact is that we should have the necessities, not take away the things that we need," Di Lena said.

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