Labor shortage: terrified of going to a CHSLD at 54

Labour Shortage: Terrorized at Work idea of ​​going to a CHSLD at age 54

MISE & Agrave; DAY

A 54-year-old woman with severe disabilities who cannot find home help in Quebec fears she will be forced to live in a CHSLD since Ottawa also prevented her from hiring an immigrant.< /strong>

“I am very scared. Fear of what will happen to me, of being forced to say goodbye to my house and my mother”, drops Nathalie Heppell, quadriplegic for 20 years, following a stroke in Greece, during a humanitarian trip.

The Montrealer nevertheless receives money from the Service Employment Check Program in order to obtain support at home, for the equivalent of 44 hours a week at $19 an hour. Over the years, she has seen more than forty beneficiary attendants.

Finding the pearl is often a miracle, she says. People aren't trained, don't want to come in the evenings or on weekends, and never stay long.

“We get the money, but it's 'you organize yourself with it' [ …] Recruitment is up to us, we post ads, we do interviews,” adds his mother, Aline Bélanger, 77.

Compete with the network

With the pandemic and the labor shortage, hiring has become downright impossible. The two women have to compete with the health network, which offers better wages and benefits.

Nathalie Heppell needs help getting up, washing, eating and going to bed. But, at home, she has access to exercises with a physiotherapist and uses voice recognition software to browse the internet. 

Since her accident, she has even completed a master's degree in international law.

Without home help, she fears ending up in a CHSLD, losing all quality of life. 

“We are not asking for charity, we are asking to be able to pay someone,” insists Bélanger, desperate.

Four years ago, they had found an attendant in the Philippines, thanks to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in Ottawa. But it will leave Quebec in November. They found another candidate because, ideally, two people would share the task. After two years of proceedings, Ottawa rejected it. It is feared that she will not return to her country after two years. 

However, the program is renewable and provides access to permanent residence. We also criticize her six-month training, which is the same as the employee accepted in the past.

Reversing their decision

Ms. Heppell and her mother are urging Ottawa to reconsider its decision. They do not have two years to start again with another candidate. Their requests, especially to their local MP, went unanswered. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Minister Sean Fraser and MP Emmanuel Dubourg all declined to comment on Ms Heppell's case. 

Calls every day for help 

People with disabilities put themselves at risk of abuse, because of the severe shortage of labor which forces them to be less selective in finding support at home.

Labour shortage: terrified at the idea to go to a CHSLD at age 54

Anabelle Grenon Fortin, spinal cord and motor skills Quebec

The current situation is critical, argues Anabelle Grenon Fortin, community organizer at Spinal cord and motor skills Quebec.< /p>

“I have never seen this, my colleagues have never seen this, every day we receive calls [for help at home]. There are no more home support staff,” she worries.

“People are put in a situation where they take almost anyone,” continues -she, adding that there is a risk of injury with untrained staff or opening your door to ill-intentioned people.

“There is no institutionalized research platform, no method of monitoring staff qualifications. It is very problematic to put vulnerable people in this situation. It exposes them to abuse,” says Ms. Grenon Fortin.

Nathalie Heppell, who is quadriplegic and looking for home help, knows something about it. She has already received a call from the police, who were looking for an attendant she had just hired, in particular.

Ms. Grenon Fortin also salutes the “exceptional” steps taken by Ms. Heppell going so far as to look internationally for help.

Spokes in the wheels

“How can you put the odds on your side, she says, on the steps and resourcefulness of Ms. Heppell? Let's stop putting obstacles in their way. »

To be eligible to apply, it must be proven that no one in the province is capable of filling the position sought. And for proof, Ms. Heppell no longer counts the advertisements published online and remained unanswered.

“We understand the shortage of personnel, blows Anabelle Grenon Fortin. But what do we do? she asks. “Urgent action needs to be taken.

She points out that Mrs. Heppell, in her fifties, does not “need geriatric care” in a CHSLD.

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