Scathing report shows seniors not getting time or attention

Quebec's ombudsman is calling attention to several examples of seniors at some of the province's 1,800 provincial long term care homes (CHSLD) not being adequately cared for.

Marie Rinfret's latest report said that in some cases:

  • Residents were not being taken out of bed for 36 consecutive hours, while others were only taken out in the late morning then immediately put back in bed for "bedtime" in the early afternoon.
  • Weekly baths were postponed regularly.
  • Staff neglected shaving, oral hygiene, and providing nail care for residents.
  • Response times to call bells and bed alarms were slow.
  • In some homes, recreational activities were cancelled - while in other homes, residents were unable to attend because staff did not have time to help seniors get ready.
  • The names of the long term care homes were not released.

Rinfret said the province's home care program needs an overhaul. She tabled her 2017-2018 annual report in the National Assembly on Thursday. 

In it she calls on public services in Quebec to better uphold their commitments.

The ombudsman also noted some of these problems have been known for years by authorities but no action was taken. She wrote the existing amount of staff cannot get the job done, recommending more staff to be hired and trained.

In one home, 65 residents were infected with scabies. The operator of the home did not inform residents or staff to take basic precautions, and tried to cover up the outbreak. It has since been shut down.

In the report, Rinfret also pointed out the Ministry of Public Security did not meet its commitment to promptly compensate victims of the 2017 floods, that's due to lengthy wait times, a lack of information, high staff turnover, and loss of documents. And unsafe and inhumane living conditions at prisons due to overcrowding.

Her solutions include hire more staff in the necessary departments, build more prisons in the province, and overhaul home-care services.