Description: The purpose of En Bonne Compagnie dans le Haut-Saint-Laurent is to fight isolation among seniors by offering volunteer services at home through active partnerships. En Bonne Compagnie wishes to launch a solidarity movement within the Haut-Saint-Laurent community. All sectors of the community, including municipal, institutional, private, school or family are invited to promote the involvement of seniors. En Bonne Companie would also like to ensure that seniors are better equipped to remain in their homes for as long as possible and to encourage their participation in the social life of the community.

Initiated by the Comité de concertation des aînés du Haut-Saint-Laurent (comprised of 29 members), this project received funding from the CRÉ (Conférence régionale des élus de la Vallée-du-Haut-Saint-Laurent) from April, 2015 to March, 2016 and from QADA (Québec ami des aînés) from April, 2016 to February, 2018. A process to ensure continued funding is currently under review and will be developed in connection with the plan d’action du Comité de concertation des aînés du Haut-Saint-Laurent, to maintain the project and develop other partners.

Society has an obligation to break the isolation experienced by many seniors and thereby overcome the consequences of loneliness. Our population is aging rapidly and society must make adjustments. We must all revise our personal and social perception of seniors because contact with seniors is part of our daily life!

2017 bring us into the era of the aging boomers; out of 8 300 000 Québécois, 1 300 000 are 65 or over, a larger group than the 14 and under. Today, one person in five is aged 65 or over. In five years, it will be one person in four and in 15 years, one in three will be 65 or over. The number of seniors has tripled in 30 years and people are living longer. It is not uncommon now for someone to reach 100.

In order to break the isolation of seniors and see that they are well treated, En Bonne compagnie dans le Haut-Saint-Laurent is establishing a system for providing references, information and awareness and for offering volunteer services at home. We feel that improving volunteer services at home is one of the responses to new volunteerism, the isolation of rural life, the problem of transportation and the well being of seniors.

Ageism (discomfort being with seniors) certainly exists. 25% of seniors experience ageism in the form of  mothering, ridicule, infantilization, etc. because ageism is quite extensive and causes disengagement,'' according to Yvon Riendeau, social gerontologist.