A Montrealer who is celebrating her 100th birthday today has achieved the feat of living alone in her apartment thanks to her seven children and home care.
"We're still capable!" I am well surrounded, ”launches with candor to the Journal Marcelle Gouin Gaudry, whose birthday was celebrated Wednesday at the day center of the CHSLD de Cartierville.
Surrounded by her children, her "seven wonders of the world", the frail but "very alert" little lady found it hard to believe that she was reaching the venerable age of 100.
"Are you 100 years old? It doesn't make sense," she drops with a mixture of smile and discouragement as she gazes at the balloons adorning her rocking chair.
Although she has visited the day center on a weekly basis since 2015, the feat of the centenarian lies in the fact that she still lives at home, in a small apartment on the 6th floor - equipped with elevators - in the borough of Saint-Laurent.
Her caring children, ages 57 to 73, had cameras installed to ensure her well-being at all times. They also split up routine chores, such as washing dishes and laundry.
In addition, the lady receives home care three times a day. Then, a bus service takes him to the center once a week.
"We are here to offer stimulation and respite to caregivers," explains Julie Gagner, team leader.
For the physiotherapy technologist, Ms. Gouin Gaudry's unique story is a success story for the home care approach.
“A hundred years is pretty rare. She is in particularly good shape. The family rallied together, she said. For years, home support has been highly valued by the government. That's what we want, to keep people at home as long as possible. It's better for them. »
Mrs. Gagner also says that when she goes to the center, the new centenarian puts on make-up and gets chic.
"She's always flirtatious. Getting ready to go out is a big plus for [seniors]. »
She still plays cupid
The main interested party, who has become a little harder of hearing over the years, says she is lucky even if she has lived alone since the death of her husband in 2007.
Every morning, she reads her edition of the Journal de Montréal delivered to her doorstep. And as soon as she has the opportunity, she plays cupid by trying to fit in her single daughters.
Three years ago, she even traveled in an all-inclusive with her children.
On Wednesday, they all laughed heartily around her. "It's quite a surprise," breathes the eldest, visibly distraught.
"We're glad we still have him," says his son, Marcel Jr.
In March 2022, the government announced that it wanted to make a major shift towards home care. In 2020-2021, nearly 398,000 Quebecers received home support, and 72% of them were over 65 years old.