Residents with two diapers, neglected mouths and feet, poorly trained staff, embarrassed users in their rooms: an investigation into three residential homes for at-risk seniors in Lanaudière at the end of 2022 reveals all kinds of gaps in care.
“Right earplug, wearing two incontinence pants, long and unkempt nails,” says an excerpt from a report by the Integrated Health and Social Services Center (CISSS) of Lanaudière, obtained by Le Journal thanks to the law on access to public documents.
“Sore and redness in the vagina […] Hat on scalp [des croûtes NDLR]dirty ears and feet, very long nails,” we read on.
The Résidences Le Jour Et La Nuit in Mascouche (Pavillon Sainte-Marie and Locas) and in Crabtree were the subject of a CISSS inspection following the death of a user on November 28, 2022. After the inquest, the coroner made no note of it in his report says that there were any deficiencies in the care provided to this patient.
All users rated
In the following days, all residents (approximately 95) of the three sites, some of whom lost their autonomy, underwent a clinical examination by CISSS staff deployed to the site. Neglected feet, dirty prosthetics, dehydration: all sorts of problems related to carelessness have been identified.
Defects identified during CISSS inspections
- Negligence in the hygienic care of certain residents
- The fire protection plan does not comply with the new guidelines
- Inadequately trained employees distribute medication
- Lack of staff training
- Application of restrictions without prior notification to the CISSS
- Significant number of incidents with no emergency calls and no follow-up from staff
Source: CISSS de Lanaudière
In mid-December, the CISSS ordered seven measures to be implemented from the beginning of 2023, including providing all services listed in users’ care plans and ensuring that medications are administered by trained staff.
The leadership of the CISSS declined the Journal’s interview request. We replied by email that the intensive measures resulting from the investigation ended in February 2023, but that “regular follow-up investigations” would continue.
The CISSS declined to provide further details on the nature of the follow-up and the quality of the current service.
Contacted by Le Journal, one of the co-owners of the residences disputes most of the facts reported in the investigation and regrets the lack of communication with the CLSC (which serves most users) and the CISSS de Lanaudière.
“I don’t recognize all the facts, there was some fine-tuning, but nothing serious,” reacts Kendall Negro, who has been working in this area since 2011.
“We were never accused […] of abuse. Do you think we wouldn’t be under guardianship if we had been abused? he asks. My co-workers were stunned by the situation because these things were unfounded. »
As for the double shift, Mr. Negro emphasized that only one employee had used this “old practice” and encountered it.
“It’s not a custom for us,” he swears.
As for the competence of the employees, he emphasized that some were waiting for training. Furthermore, he regrets that residents were stripped naked for inspection during the CISSS investigation.
Since 2020, the CISSS de Lanaudière has received six complaints regarding these residences, four of them in the period 2022-2023.
“We find what happened boring, but we are happy. Because it allowed a collaboration with the CISSS that we have never had before,” concludes Mr. Negro.
For its part, the nurses’ union said it met with the management of the CISSS last August and stressed that the situation in these dormitories had not been resolved.
“There are still situations,” complains Marie-Chantal Bédard, president of the local union (FIQ). We [Le CISSS] Close your eyes because we are unable to take care of them because we have no people.”
Nurses witness poor care
Home health nurses who care for patients in private homes are “discouraged” by poor care for seniors without being able to intervene, their union in Lanaudière regrets.
“They witness it and feel complicit in the abuse,” complains Marie-Chantal Bédard, president of the local nurses’ union Lanaudière (member of FIQ). I find what is happening in RPAs unacceptable.”
Courtesy of Marie-Chantal Bédard
Due to the lack of spaces in CHSLDs in Quebec, many seniors find themselves in private senior residences (RPA).
There, many users who lose their autonomy receive home care offered by their CLSC (wounds, blood tests, etc.). According to the FIQ, nurses, for example, treat patients who have fallen without the information being recorded in the file.
On several occasions, employees have expressed their concerns and reported problematic incidents to management, assures the union, which regrets the inaction of the CISSS.
“Employees on site are not able to do this […] make the appropriate assessments, says Ms. Bédard. Nurses want to protect themselves and therefore send patients to the hospital immediately because they don’t want to assess them with false information.”
“There were many deaths after falls, patients were left to fend for themselves,” emphasizes a CISSS official who is not authorized to speak to the media.
“They know very well that if they tighten the screws on the RPAs, they will have to move all these people out into the public and there is no room!” points out another employee. That’s why we prefer to let people there die in terrible conditions because we are unable to have a health system that looks good.”
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