The moves of residents of CHSLDs to seniors’ homes must be approached with great caution, warns an expert in the field who is worried about the effects on residents and caregivers.
“Almost 100% of people who live in CHSLDs have cognitive disorders,” argues Jessika Roy-Desruisseaux, geriatric psychiatrist at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Sherbrooke.
A move gives rise, she says, “to a loss of bearings” for these people. “It’s difficult to adapt, to understand why we are in another place, where we are. »
She was alarmed by the revelations of the Duty on the use, in several regions, of partially empty seniors’ homes to house residents of CHSLDs undergoing renovation. Mme Roy-Desruisseaux, who follows patients in CHSLDs as part of his work in Estrie, was not aware of this practice.
She believes that we should limit the moves of people with advanced cognitive disorders as much as possible or, at least, ensure that they can stay in a seniors’ home once they move – and that they are not moved again at the end of the work.
In interview at Duty, health authorities in regions that use the practice have indicated that it will be possible for people to stay, but that it will not be automatic. On the other hand, those who will stay in the seniors’ home will not be treated by the same staff because the employees will necessarily have to return to the CHSLD.
Pressure on caregivers
Jessika Roy-Desruisseaux underlines how heavy this type of move can be for the caregivers of residents. As part of a research she is conducting on this subject, the latter have told “how complicated it was”. “They are often notified at the last minute,” she says.
“That means that each of the families must go and pack their bags, warn, direct the person,” she adds, pointing out that caregivers are “not always well accompanied” by the staff. And if the move to the seniors’ home is temporary, it’s hard for them, “because it means two moves”.
The director of the Association of Caregivers of the Capitale-Nationale, Suzanne Girard, says she feels a “deep unease” in the face of this “mixture of seniors”.
She recalls that during the pandemic, seniors have “been tossed left and right”. “There, it’s not the same thing. But they will experience adaptation problems, and certainly cognitive losses as well. The fundamental problem is that we do not focus enough on home support. »