Language rights for elderly Ontarians a growing issue

Posted on: January 31st, 2019 by Suzanne Deliscar Add A Comment

The availability of legal services in languages other than English could become a growing issue as Ontario’s population continues to age, Brampton lawyer-linguist Suzanne Deliscar tells

Deliscar, principal of Deliscar Professional Corporation, a law firm that offers services in English, French and Spanish, says many elderly people may struggle to express their wishes outside their mother tongue for the purposes of legal matters, including the preparation of wills, guardianship applications and powers of attorney.

“This is something we have to take seriously because if people can’t communicate in English, they’re going to have a hard time getting the legal services they need,” she says. “It’s definitely an issue we’re going to see more and more that needs to be addressed.

But it’s not just the provision of legal services where elderly individuals could find themselves disadvantaged if their first language is not English, Deliscar adds.

“From the perspective of medical and long-term care needs, there may be demand for specialized homes based on language. I know there are some that cater to certain religious or language groups, but these are few and far between,” she says.


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