Residents in CHSLDs forced to move out to make room for short-term beds

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By Gabrielle Fahmy and Amy Luft, CTV Montreal

Some people in long-term care facilities are being forced to leave in Quebec's plan to create more short-term beds for people who need to be hospitalized for COVID-19, CTV News has learned.

Elaine Fougere said she received an upsetting phone call this week.

Her 82-year-old husband Roland, who has cancer of the spine, lives at a long-term care facility in Verdun. She was told has to be out by December.

"They're throwing them out like a deck of cards," she said.

Daughter Joanne Lamarre said she couldn’t believe it.

“We thought he was going to be there until the end of his life," she said.

Never mind the regular stress of finding a new home, they have to visit CHSLDs in the middle of a pandemic, when every day the government is telling people to stay home.

"Terrible time. It's absolutely terrible. Especially dealing with senior citizens," said Fougere.

About 20 people at the home will be forced to move. The health authority said it was a difficult decision, but with the order coming straight from the health ministry, its hands were tied.

The local health board (CIUSSS) told CTV News that it's part of a provincial directive to add more beds to deal with a strained hospital network during the second wave of COVID-19.

The family doesn't understand how moving elderly people amid a pandemic is a good idea.

"They're all saying about how respectful we have to be towards the seniors, that we have to take care of them because they're very vulnerable, you know, well let's walk the talk," said Lamarre.

"I wish the government would change. Change its mind. Find its heart," added Fougere.

The family said it hasn't told Roland yet because they're worried about how he'll take it after making the Verdun facility his home.

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