QUÉBEC CITY, Oct. 28, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, Québec Ombudsperson Marie Rinfret released a special report on access to public residential resources that respects the rights and needs of elderly people and their families. The report documents the reality of elderly people who are waiting for a place in a substitute environment and spells out what needs to occur immediately to correct the access mechanism.
"Every year in Québec, 21,000 people who can't remain safely at home come up against a complicated access machine that is hard to understand, that involves lengthy wait times and is discouraging. These people, who are experiencing a crucial stage of their life, suddenly find themselves in complete disarray, uprooted and forced to move to a new environment which is often not the one they expected," said Marie Rinfret.
At the end of its systemic investigation into the rules and practices surrounding access, the Québec Ombudsman made 14 recommendations to the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) under four orientations that respond directly to the main findings.
Orientation 1: Show consideration for would-be residents
As part of the access process, various practices seen in CISSSs and CIUSSSs result in the denial of rights or needless upheaval.
The right to choose a resource (in keeping with available resources) is regularly breached or denied would-be residents, as is the right to be adequately informed.
Forced moves within 48 hours, in all likelihood hasty, are a recurrent source of distress.
Cancellation of an application if a person refuses the place offered violates the elderly person's rights.
Frequent and extended recourse to temporary placement causes a form of homelessness at the end of life.
Orientation 2: Standardize practices Québec-wide
Because the access mechanism is not standard, there are sizable disparities from one region to another regarding the access process itself and average wait times. In addition to yielding a misleading portrait of access, the lack of uniform practices creates inequalities between regions.
Orientation 3: Review application prioritization
Elderly people's social and emotional needs are scarcely considered in prioritizing applications. This means that it may be difficult for informal caregivers to help residents, spouses may end up at different residential resources, or significant persons may live far away.
The network's limited resources and the imperatives of the hospital-care system have created a fast track to placement—hospitalization. The upshot is that people at home wait longer for a place in a residential resource.
Orientation 4: Produce an exhaustive portrait of the situation regarding access to residential resources
MSSS's management of access data is inefficient: some data are not collated the same way by the different institutions, other data are ignored or made inaccessible, while some are only partly distributed.
See today's needs in order to fairly provide for tomorrow's
MSSS is duty-bound to make decisions based on documented observations and to arrive at an overall vision of the needs of the elderly in order to make the access process more compassionate.
"At a time when Québec is poised to overhaul residential resources for the elderly, the entire focus must be on the response to the issues raised in this report. Letting this opportunity to base our ambitions on reliable up-to-date data slip through our fingers would be opting to refuse fair access to residential resources for our elderly population," said Marie Rinfret in closing.
To see the Québec Ombudsman's 14 recommendations, read the special report titled Pour un accès à l'hébergement public qui respecte les droits et les besoins des personnes âgées et de leurs proches or read the summary in English.
SOURCE Protecteur du citoyen
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