Serving Francophone seniors in their mother tongue

Iain MacInnes and Karine Gallant play while resident care worker Barb Feehan dances for residents of Beach Grove Home.

Staff at Beach Grove Home are making extra efforts to welcome French-speaking residents and help them to feel as comfortable as possible.

Jenneca Pomeroy, project manager of bilingual services said the staff make exceptional efforts to speak French. They’ve established a bilingual neighborhood in Harbour Household, one of the three living spaces in the home, to provide French language services and support to the Francophone long-term care residents living at Beach Grove.   

“The French language efforts by our staff are instrumental for the overall health and well-being of our French residents,” Pomeroy said. “It helps them adjust more easily and reduces their feelings of anxiety and isolation.” 

 “We have seen staff take the initiative to practice and improve their French. They use French language resources to help with their conversation skills and we regularly see staff taking part in the Café de Paris, our on-site drop-in French language support service,” she said.

James Aylward, Minister of Health and Wellness, said he is proud to see staff taking extra steps to make residents feel comfortable and welcomed at Beach Grove Home.

“It’s important that we look at all of our resident’s needs. The staff of Beach Grove Home cares for the social as well as the physical aspects of our residents,” he said. “This is a great example of care that focuses on the individual needs of people with different cultural backgrounds.”

Pomeroy and Prince Edward Island French Health Network (PEIFHN) held an event recently to celebrate the French language efforts of the staff in conjunction with the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie, celebrated across PEI from March 1 to 31. The event featured entertainment by Karine Gallant and Ian MacGuiness along with step dancers Emmie Francis and Ruby Squires from Roberts Academy of Dance. 

A plaque was presented to Harbour Household staff by Karine Gallant, assistant director of the PEIFHN, which included a print by local artist Noella Richard. 

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