A former journalist and illustrator, judicial, Delphine Bergeron has been working for several years as a counsellor in mental health. She has agreed to work in a ltc facility in the Montreal area in mid-April to lend a hand during the crisis of the sars coronavirus. Each week, she shares with us her experience.
The population in NURSING homes is mostly older. However, my foray into one of these schools during the pandemic revealed to me a minority of younger patients, with limited mobility because of an illness or an accident.
Mr Moore (fictitious name), early fifties, found himself confined to a ltc facility because of the COVID-19.
He is suffering from multiple sclerosis, and his wife was no longer able to administer the necessary care in the comfort of their homes suitable.
Arrived at the CHSLD two weeks before the start of the pandemic, the father of the family should they pass there, waiting for an apartment in a private institution.
What was supposed to happen came to pass ; he soon received a positive diagnosis for the coronavirus and has joined the ranks of the hot zone.
Installed in his wheelchair that he operates with a controller, Mr. Moore is a solid man who exudes assurance and sweetness.
I brought him bags from his family, bags that were first put in quarantine at the reception. They contained chocolate, chips and coffee capsules.
Not to be a burden
We discuss, of our lives and of the situation. It keeps morale and has this pride own for many individuals with disabilities that I have met, that is to say, to want at all costs not to be a burden to their loved ones.
I become attached quickly to Mr. Moore. I like to get in a little earlier to go chat with him. He is polite, cultured and grateful despite her situation. A beautiful example of resilience.
At a turn in the exchange, he tells me that he has a desire recurring of eating poutine.
It is so basic to all Quebecers who respects himself, a poutine from time to time.
But it is impossible for the residents to order food : any packets coming from the outside, pass two days to the reception to avoid external contamination. I feel invested of a divine mission, to bring a bit of comfort to this man confined.
I approach the nutritionist of the school. It would be possible to cook this dish on the spot, but the result will not be to the height : the fries in the oven, grated cheese, fro.
I draw in my tendencies to rebel and I stopped in for a snack before my shift. I clean the container of putin with a disinfectant and isolates it in a bag.
Mr. Moore’s well worth the risk I take to make me desist.
Worthy of a ninja in modern times, I am able to deliver subtly delicious dish to Mr. Moore.
“I’ve done it. “He greets me with an air of surprised. I unpack my surprise, proud of my shot. He laughs, congratulate me and laments that he will not be able to all eat; it is too big !
Mr. Moore ate with appetite the poutine that I managed to bring him to the CHSLD, at the risk of me being ticked off.
Beyond this anecdote is comforting, I wonder about the place of people with disabilities in NURSING homes. I understand that some require medical care specific, but I’ve also seen people receive care at home.
Why would it not be possible for them to enjoy life in the comfort of their home ? How is this any more complicated than they have servants at home ? These people are working, have a family, a social network and leisure activities.
The maintenance of autonomy is a core value in my work as an educator specializing.
The focus is on the needs of the users and not on what ” fix ” the infrastructure is already in place. It often takes creativity to reconcile the two.
Multiple organisations for the defence of the rights of persons with disabilities, as well as individuals, have denounced for several years the placement in a CHSLD and the lack of support for the maintenance at home.
I want to improve the plight of the elderly institutionalized, but of grace, deal with the fate of those with restricted mobility differently, because it is a different customer.
In this Week in quebec of persons with disabilities, let us listen to and act according to their needs.