Boomer Café

More than just a free lunch

By P. A. Sévigny

With an hour to go before lunchtime, Victoria Leblanc is busy setting tables for Monday’s Boomer Café. Located in the Montreal West United Church, it doesn’t take long before a low happy hum fills the room as patrons begin to trickle in and fill the chairs.

“It’s not complicated,” states Leblanc. “I started to help out 12 years ago when they first opened, and I have no plans to stop now.”

Over a plate full of baked chicken legs paired with autumn salad and apple crisp for dessert, NDG Senior Citizens’ Council project director Jeremy Varvaris explains how the Boomer Café has become a catalyst for local retirees who are trying to figure out what to do with the rest of their lives.

“Getting old is all about transition, and we’re all about helping out with that transition,” offers up Varvaris. “Money becomes a big issue on a fixed income. For a variety of reasons, many seniors end up with little more than their pensions to see them through the month,” he laments.

But the Boomer Café is more than just a free lunch. In addition to a weekly shared meal, they also offer wellness activities like yoga and drama classes. The goal is to provide a welcoming, friendly space to break social isolation and provide support for seniors.

“It’s all about staying active and working out methods to help people adapt to different aspects of what it means to grow old,” concludes Varvaris. “In the end, it’s all about community because people have to know that they’re not alone.”

 

Winter 2020, Vol 12 N°1

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