Seniors Home still White
The White House after the storm.
Victoria Vanier Stanstead People right across the country were shocked, last week, when they heard that the thirteen seniors living at the White House Residence, in Stanstead, were told that the residence was closing and that they had two days to find new living quarters. Relatives of the residents, many of whom have lived at the White House for years, were busy packing up their belongings, last Friday.
The owner, Richard Bilodeau, has stated that he closed the seniors residence because of financial difficul-
ties. The $440,000 mortgage on the business was taken at the Caisse Desjardins de Stanstead, registered on July 5th, 2006. As we went to press yesterday, and according to the records at the Stanstead Registry office, no actions had been taken against the mortgage holder. When asked when the Caisse Desjardins de Stanstead knew that the White House would be closing, General Director Mario Scallon said: “At the same time as everyone else.” He also said that, for reasons of confidentiality, he couldn’t make any other comments. However, he did add that commercial accounts are handled at the Centre Entreprise of the Magog branch of the Caisse Desjardins.
The Centre de santé et services sociaux de
Memphremagog (CSSSM) was also only informed of the closure on March 2nd, stepping in to provide psycho-social services for the residents and their families to help deal with the stress of the situation and to help find new homes for the thirteen seniors.
Fortunately, eight of the seniors were able to find new homes all under the same roof: at Place Sanborn, in Ayer’s Cliff. “We had some rooms available so we were able to take in eight residents. Some of them are familiar with some of our residents,” commented Isabelle Vanasse who works at Place Sanborn. When asked how the new residents were adjusting to the sudden move, she added: “They’re doing OK.”
The provincial government has been working on a new version of the certification measures for seniors residences since September and, after the White House incident, will make it even “tighter”. “There will be stricter penalties against the owners of residences and stricter measures to become certified,” explained Louise Quintin, the press attaché to the Minister of social services, Dominique Vien. The ministry is expecting to deposit this new amendment to the existing law at Parliament between now and the end of the present session. “Our main concern is that people are treated well and with respect,” added Ms. Quintin.
When Ronald Maheu, the president of the Memphremagog branch of the AQDR ( Association Quebecoise de defense des droits des personnes retraitées) was told what happened to the residents of the White House, he was incredulous. “I believe this is a case of elder abuse. It is a real shame. But I’m happy that eight of the residents have found homes at Place Sanborn; that is a good residence,” said Mr. Maheu.
photos Stanstead Journal