A former journalist and illustrator, judicial, Delphine Bergeron has been working for several years as a counsellor in mental health. She has agreed to work in a ltc facility in the Montreal area in mid-April to lend a hand during the crisis of the sars coronavirus. Each week, she shares with us her experience.
Thus, the prime minister François Legault wants to find 10,000 volunteers to become orderlies ? Me who’s working temporarily as a clerk in a ltc facility during the pandemic, I can tell you one thing : it is anything but easy.
I’m hot. My skin is disgusting. Under the personal protective equipment, I’m uncomfortable.
I sue, the buttons appear where I have never had.
There are two working periods of more intensive during my quarter of a night : dinner and then bedtime.
After each ” rush “, I have to take a moment of pause to catch my breath and refresh me.
I take leisurely habits, such as the making of my ” COVID cocktail “, a mixture of ice and cranberry juice with which I would hydrate at every break.
I have to wash my hair every day when I got home. I change in my input, leaving my belongings on the spot and go straight into the shower.
The coronavirus survives only a few hours on the clothes ; I can pick up the pile of laundry the next day.
The mental and physical fatigue sets in, hidden by the adrenaline.
I saw a slight downhill depressive.
I drink alcohol every night.
The bottles of white wine followed another. I can fortunately count on the support of my friends to vent, and I can control my consumption.
The beautiful world
Despite the instructions of social distancing tightened, I do car pool with my colleagues.
My ltc facility is far from a subway and public transit users can easily put 1: 30 pm-visit the site or return home.
This time in the car with them allows me to better understand their lives.
Except for my sisters who come from the same institution as me to lend a helping hand, the staff at the CHSLD are mostly visible minorities.
It makes me feel weird to write ” visible minority “, because as a Montrealer, I grew up in the multiethnicity of the city.
They are African-American, African, Caribbean, Latino, European, Slavic, Indian, Asian… interspersed with Caucasians like myself, culture, francophone or anglophone.
This beautiful palette canadian addition to the volunteers from various trades.
For example, today, a psychologist and a psychiatrist are grafted on to the team. A physician from another institution also gave of his time on the floor.
These professionals arrive with their ethics psych and doc. I am a part of, landed there with my ethical judgement of specialized educator.
We must learn to co-ordinate with the caregivers on the spot, their routines and their ways of doing things.
I found that they were sudden, at the beginning. Once I understood the rhythm that it needed to be to accomplish the workload, I myself have turned the corners on certain tasks.
We will not address the complex question of the conditions of life in a CHSLD to work in a few weeks.
The treatment team rolls past 25 years by seeing his ways to melt. Each did his best.
I am not in any way restricted in the use of the materials, whether the number of washcloths or underwear incontinence used.
But I know that this kind of management exists in the network of the health.
The current crisis is only the reflection of the place of the elderly in our society, as well as any person having to live in a CHSLD.
Speaking of seniors, I’ve started to call my great-aunt Lucienne, who was 93 years old and still keeps house.
We discussed our life of confinement. Neighbours who look after it have taught him to order her groceries over the phone. Taking care of your elderly, I wanted to reconnect with my own.
Am I going to answer to the call of Mr. Legault and become an attendant to the beneficiaries in the long term ?
Give me a schedule of five days, a pay and benefits of an educator, any material restriction, as well as the guarantee that we will be four servants by section (rather than two or three, as it happens often) and I think about seriously about changing jobs.