Difficult the Holidays for the people stuck in them

News 23 December, 2017
  • Photo By Prisca Benoit
    Claude Rouleau, 59 years, is suffering from a lung disease that prevents him from leaving his house to go visit family and friends.

    Prisca Benoit

    Saturday, December 23, 2017 22:54

    Saturday, December 23, 2017 22:54

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    The greatest gift you could offer to Claude Rouleau for Christmas is a new pair of lungs that would allow him to break out of isolation.

    “This is the life, the lungs, but as for me, I have more life since I am sick “, laments the 59 year old man who suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) for the past four years.

    The loneliness was imposed on that resident in the neighbourhood of Ahuntsic in Montreal because of his illness, so that he will not see anyone during the Christmas eve.


    The physical disabilities like that of Mr. Roller is a great source of social isolation among seniors, according to the report on the social isolation of older people the national Council of elders.

    These constraints tend to increase with age, with one-third of the 65 years and older who have at least one disability.

    Photo By Prisca Benoit

    Gisele Jolivet would also increase its Christmas only if it was not of her cousin, who offered him to accompany him. The lady of 74 years, moves to the walker for almost four years and cannot leave his apartment because of the stairs.

    “There are 27 steps, I counted ! “says the lady, exasperated.

    Without children, she lives alone since the death of her husband three years ago, in a large 4 and a half in Ahuntsic. She lived there for 24 years.

    Take a walk

    “At least if I was able to go take a walk, talk a little bit about my neighbors. Everyone knows me in the corner, I désennuierait. “

    Ms. Jolivet is bored of being able to go out, especially in the winter when the pavement is covered in snow. At Christmas, it is to dance to the tunes of the rigodons who misses him the most. At least, it receives a few hits per week and is regularly discussed with his cousins.

    Claude Roller was not as lucky.

    “Sometimes, I see a person or two per month,” says the man. At some moments, I was alone in my apartment for almost three months. “

    If Mr. Roller does not come out more often, this is because the blast misses him quickly with only 26 % of her lung capacity.

    “At the slightest effort, I’m out of breath. Before, I was going to see my sister in St-Jérôme. I took the bus and the subway, then the train. Now, forget it, go up all those stairs. “

    Quality of life

    Even if Quebecers are living longer, the quality of life of older people does not grow at the same pace, laments the geriatrician David Lussier of the university Institute of geriatrics of Montreal.

    “We are left necessarily with more and more older people with physical disabilities that are caught in them,” he says.

    According to the expert, the Holiday season is a period particularly difficult for the people only, since it is synonymous with gathering together in families.

    “It is much more difficult for those who cannot leave home, because, even if there are activities, they simply cannot get there. “