Anglophone seniors in Quebec often feel isolated, much more so than their francophone counterparts, according a study released Tuesday by the Quebec Community Groups Network.

The three-year study of anglophones of retirement age found that they are frequently cut off from the world because of two factors: adult children who have moved out of province, and a weak grasp of the French language.

A failure to be completely fluent in French can be a significant barrier when it comes to getting adequate medical information from doctors and nurses, or when dealing with provincial and municipal governments, the study showed.

The QCGN made recommendations Tuesday for more bilingual front-line workers, new health and social programs, and funding for anglo seniors' needs, a group which makes up one-third of Montrealers over the age of 65.

Sheila Goldbloom, a partner at QCGN who helped conduct the study, said many charity and community groups argue they just don't have the personnel to help an isolated minority.

"Often times they say there is nobody else available but they don't hire people who could do this," said Goldbloom. "I think that it is something we have got to change – the mentality of the people running these services."

As a result the QCGN is calling for a drastic rethink of how seniors are cared for, especially as the population ages.

The recommendations were welcome news Tuesday at Contactivity, a drop-in centre with 600 members. The group has tripled in size in 15 years and funding is stretched as far as it can go, said director Mary Stark.

"We're at about capacity as far as the membership with our manpower and our funding and our facilities," she said.

Groups like Contactivity serve to prevent seniors from being isolated and are a welcome second home, said member Katarina Ribicki.

"I know I can go there when I am lonely, when there's nowhere else to go. I know I can get help," she said.