Accessibility and communication in frontline brought to the forefront

The Users’ Committee of de la Montagne
The Users’ Committee of de la Montagne recently collaborated with community partner Respecting Elders Communities against Abuse to produce a theatre piece on elder abuse, for clients of the de la Montagne Intermediate Resource.

To engage with users at different points of care, the Users Committee of de la Montagne organizes kiosks at vaccination clinics, meets with community groups, and distributes informative reading material throughout their territory. They represent CLSCs Côte-des-Neiges, Parc-Extension and Métro, along with other front-line sites such as the Côte-des-Neiges Birthing Centre and the de la Montagne Intermediate Resource.

“We’re always open to suggestions by CIUSSS staff on effective ways of reaching out to our healthcare users,” says committee President Valérie Martin.

Discussions with clients in the past year revealed two areas they would like to see strengthened, to increase user satisfaction:

Improved communication between healthcare providers and users

“We want to investigate ways to simplify the communication process, so that the user always knows who is taking care of them, without having to make multiple phone calls or inquiries,” says Ms. Martin. “In CLSCs, for example, there are many shift changes, so the client and their family don’t know whom to turn to for help or with questions.” As an example, if a client receives home care help with dressing but must change a scheduled visit because they have a medical appointment, their contact person varies depending on whether they call during the week or weekend, day or night.

Improved accessibility in all facilities

Full accessibility for people with a handicap or disability is another priority for the committee. Access should not be restricted either in the physical layout of the site, nor in the delivery of care. For example, if a deaf individual requires counseling, it should be possible for them to communicate their needs to staff and have access to a therapist who can sign.

“It’s about ensuring that every open door can accommodate people in a multitude of ways,” says Ms. Martin.

Over the past year, the committee has had a fruitful partnership with community partner Respecting Elders Communities against Abuse (RECAA). In March, the committee collaborated with RECAA to present a theatre piece on the subject of elder abuse to residents of the de la Montagne Intermediate Resource. The activity included a recruitment presentation by the committee.

“It’s a great way to bring seniors together,” says Ms. Martin. “They learn about their rights as users in the healthcare system and what resources are available to them. The skits also help them to recognize whether they are living in an abusive environment.”

Ms. Martin remarked on the contribution of outgoing vice-president Françoise Taub, a longstanding member of the committee. “For an entire decade, Ms. Taub gave us a window into home care. It’s often a challenge to gather feedback from people who receive home care. Her insights were very helpful in assessing the needs of home care recipients, as well as the quality of care they receive.”

The Users’ Committee of de la Montagne welcomes staff feedback and ideas on how to improve the user experience. The committee can be reached at or by phone, 514-731-8531, extension 5093.