Nightmares in series in the CHSLD du Québec

Cauchemars en série dans les CHSLD du Québec

Disorganization, lack of staff, patients left in their feces, or who are crying out for help : many caregivers deployed recently in NURSING homes because of the crisis of the coronavirus discover a nightmarish reality that they would never have dared to imagine.

Liliane Fournier and Isabel Valero tell the nightmare that they have lived in going to help the staff of a ltc facility.

Liliane Fournier and Isabel Valero, two colleagues who teach to the future orderlies and nursing assistants have been disrupted by their first quarter of work.

  • Listen to the interview of the member of parliament for the Parti québécois Véronique Hivon with Jonathan Trudeau at QUB Radio:


“We get there and it smells like death. There is almost nobody. We do not think in 2020 [in terms of conditions for residents]. We said : “what is it doing there ? Will we survive ?” “remembers Ms. Fournier, about his passing last Friday evening at the accommodation Centre Nazaire-Piché of the borough of Lachine, in Montreal.

  • The journalist Félix Séguin returns on the situation in NURSING homes in his column in the show Dutrizacon QUB Radio:

The two women and another colleague teacher had not the habit of this community. They are still left alone with a nursing assistant to care for a dozen patients during the major part of their working shift.

“Liliane and me, we began to make the assessment of wounds and realized that many were immersed in their panties soiled. So, we started to change pants incontinence at the same time that the dressings, ” says dr. Valero.

“It’s been a long time. The contents had started to dry and stick to the skin of residents, ” continued Ms. Fournier.

Isabel Valero

Difficult to meet all

“We are accustomed to working with a plan, but last Friday, there was no game plan,” remembers Ms. Fournier, who talks about a problem of organization because of lack of staff.

The two tell that they have had difficulty to meet the demands of patients because they were overwhelmed. Ms. Valero admits to not being able to wash the patients properly as they wished.

“You have to be gone to find that it is terrible. […] I never would have believed to see situations the way “, she argues.

“It is hard to explain how the system [of health] was able to get there. It is as if we lived a nightmare and was eager to wake up “, image, Ms. Fournier.

Dedicated employees

The two colleagues agree that the staff is dedicated and he works hard. Everyone does what he can in the face of this extraordinary event.

“People were already out of breath before the COVID-19. It will be necessary to review ratios of number of patients per caregiver, ” says dr. Valero.

Despite their experience, they say they are willing to return to the front, together.

“It is necessary to return to it. Patients and our colleagues need us all, ” said Ms. Fournier.

To hear cries for help

“At the beginning, it was a disaster. […] I was the only one [nurse] auxiliary for thirty patients. This was not obvious, ” explains Josée Martel, deployed for three weeks at the CHSLD Residence of happiness, in Laval.

She had left the profession four years ago because of schedule conflicts family.

“The school I was not prepared for it. […] This is a nightmare. It was too full arms. There is a lot of shouting to ask for help, but we can’t all help everyone. You must go to priorities. There are nights where you say : “my God, I am only human, not a machine,” recounts with heartbreak the wife of 43-year-old work, usually as a massage therapist and kinesiologist.

“All my patients have the COVID-19. I had never seen that, such a situation. But it is a special event. I do not regret my choice. I am happy to be here, and for the past four days, it’s much better, because it receives a lot of help, ” says Ms. Martel.

The smell of urine

“I was the more affected when I am finish, it is the smell. It smelled, the beds dirty, feces and urine mixed with disinfectant, ” says Anouk Poulin about his first day in a CHSLD de Montréal, which she prefers to keep silent the name, last Wednesday.

The architect of 50 years who works in the field of construction works as a volunteer three days a week helping the orderlies.

“We were a lot of new and one had the impression that there was no structure. It ran like chickens with no head. […] There were many calls for help. Too many requirements for what we could do, ” says dr. Poulin, who states that the situation has improved since then.

“I cried so much in the first week. I had pictures that I remained in the lead, as sores [bedsores], the soiled diapers for too long, but also this lady who was without news from his daughter for six weeks. I was angry of not being able to do what I would have wanted to because we lacked the time. These are things that we can’t imagine, ” says the one who does not regret to be involved.

Be resigned

“I came with the mindset:” I’m not going to save lives, but I’m going to make it more human, ” explains Nadia Lambert, trained as a nurse deployed in a CHSLD de Laval, which she prefers not to identify.

“The thing that struck me is to see the doors of the unit closed, without residents, because they have been transferred, or that they are dead. It’s been a funny atmosphere that we would imagine not, ” recounts with emotion the one that teaches future orderlies for the past nine years.

Very positive, Ms. Lambert recalls that her colleagues and she are working hard and doing all that is humanly possible in these difficult circumstances.


“They might die of dehydration and lack of food”

An employee leaves the CHSLD Vigi Dollard-des-Ormeaux, yesterday.

Patients at the CHSLD Vigi Dollard-des-Ormeaux could die from lack of care while many of them have not been able to be fed for a good part of the day, yesterday, because there was not enough nursing staff.

Félix Séguin and Antoine Lacroix
Bureau of investigation and The Journal de Montréal

“If there are more person, [the residents] are likely to die of dehydration, lack of food. People will let go more quickly. We can no longer guarantee the children that they will die without suffering and in dignity, ” laments Michel Pagé, the doctor in charge of the institution.

No assistance accepted

The daughter of a resident of the CHSLD-private agreement that has been declared positive, the COVID-19 would like to go lend a hand to the staff, but the administration it refuses the access.

Michael Deeb, here with his wife in December, is one of the residents affected by the coronavirus.

“I am ready to go, I will take all the measures of protection requested, but let me go. It comes back to me and tell me : watch it die, watch him suffer, he was sent to the slaughterhouse. […] I feel so helpless, ” says Carole Deeb, whose father Michel, 89 years old, is now much weakened by the disease, according to that which has been reported.

However, the assistance of family caregivers could be more than welcome, so yesterday morning, no nurse or licensed practical nurse was available to care for the 160 elderly who live there.

Sick employees

Regrettably, the CHSLD 89 contamination cases confirmed and five deaths linked to the coronavirus, according to the figures provided by the integrated Center for academic health and social services (CIUSSS) of the West Island of Montréal.

According to our information, there are also 39 positive cases of coronavirus among 71 employees, which may partly explain their absence.

“We are in link with the management and we sent a team of CIUSSS composed of geriatricians and nurses volunteers in the reinforcement in order to support its care team. A team from the MUHC will also come in reinforcement to the CHSLD “, has, however, indicated the CIUSSS yesterday.

It’s been about a week that the CHSLD Vigi Dollard-des-Ormeaux has seen an explosion in dazzling cases of residents affected by the COVID-19.

“It’s all happened all of a sudden. My father was diagnosed on Thursday, I didn’t know until yesterday that it was positive, evidenced by Ms. Deeb. I am worried about. My father is diabetic, he has problems with pressure. He has not eaten, he has not received his medication. His condition deteriorated, before he was in relatively good shape. ”

Patients could not be fed and have not received their medication, confirms, with regret, Dr. Pagé.

“Usually [patients] die from complications of the COVID, but then I’m afraid that they will die from lack of care, and this is not acceptable. Not because the center is not good, because there is a lack of arms “, is concerned there.


CHSLD Herron, Dorval

  • Thirty-one seniors are died in recent weeks. At least 61 of the 99 residents who have survived the unsanitary conditions of the place have been infected.

CHSLD Sainte-Dorothée, Laval

  • On 16 April, the CHSLD had 150 cases of COVID-19 among the residents, or 78 % of residents, and 56 deaths, in addition to no fewer than 79 cases among the employees.

CHSLD Laflèche, Shawinigan

  • This establishment is the epicenter of the pandemic in the Mauricie region. There are 176 confirmed cases among residents and staff since the beginning of the crisis. The safety of the premises is also an issue.

Private residence Notre-Dame-de-la-Victoire, Saint-Hubert

  • The residence is unsanitary, has been deserted by its employees, while 44 of the 47 residents are now infected.

Centre d’hébergement de LaSalle, Montreal

  • The Centre are at least 99 cases of COVID-19 and deplores 30 deaths. A young woman came to lend a hand stresses that it ” stinks to negligence “.
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