Annual Report 2017-2018

Looking ahead, getting ready

PDF Version

5. Communities for Francophones

The physical and social environment in health care settings is important for mental and physical health, particularly for seniors, whose hospital stays can often be longer or who live in long-term care facilities.

Approximately half of people with dementia will spend time in a long-term care facility.88 Currently, such facilities offer few services that are culturally and linguistically suited to Francophone communities. These services refer people to Francophone care units or beds that have bilingual human resources, display the visual identity of the Francophone community, and offer appropriate social and cultural activities.89

Making adaptations like these will, of course, require giving due regard to the increasingly exogamous nature of families. Each LHIN will have to be responsible for making sure these services are available and, at the local level, ensuring the prioritized access to environments or beds reserved for Francophones — as is already the case at the Bendale Acres long-term care home in Toronto.

It is difficult to clearly and accurately identify the physical, or even virtual, areas where the presence of French is protected, even for designated agencies and services under the French Language Services Act, which, in turn, leads to major impediment to access, quality and safety of services. This becomes even more of a barrier when patients are becoming more dependent or vulnerable. While some organizations would benefit from increasing their level of bilingualism in all areas, for others, bilingualism would best be concentrated in smaller teams that are visible and identified.

There are already well-known ways of organizing and identifying even very limited spaces for providing living areas and care to Francophones in facilities and hospitals that are primarily Anglophone,90 and these deserve to be made permanent. The best practices followed at the Bendale Acres long-term care home could be used as a model for elsewhere in Ontario.

  1. Huyer, Greg, Disease Trajectories and Transitions of Care for People with Dementia, Ottawa, 2017, p. 44.
  2. Réseau franco-santé du Sud de l’Ontario Op cit., and Réseau du Mieux-être Francophone du Nord de l’Ontario, Étude de besoins sur les foyers de soins de longue durée dans la région du Nord-Ouest de l’Ontario, Rapport remis au Réseau local d’intégration des services de santé du Nord-Ouest, 2017, p. 23.
  3. For further details, see

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *