Support workers who provide home care fear that they may be vectors of the COVID, due to the large number of visits including in residences for the elderly and to the lack of safety equipment.
“Home care, it’s going to be the CHSLD later,” warns Nathalie Bourque, spokesman for the Association of the auxiliary family and social future of Québec. The auxiliary family and social (AFS) carry on the work of orderlies on the ground, in order to ensure the maintenance at home.
The energy is concentrated in a CHSLD in the beginning of the crisis, the AFS tell have had a lot of conflicting direction in the last three months. “At the beginning, we were asked to dry the mask on the mirror when it was wet,” says Ms. Bourque.
Except that the lack of equipment continues to be “stressful” for those who visit up to 10 vulnerable persons per day.
Charles Morissette, who works as AFS in Quebec city, says it happens to him even at the moment of visiting up to five homes for the aged per day although the number of visits has been restricted. He visited people who are in complex for independent living, but who need care that does not offer the residence in question. “We have just overcome “, he explains.
Despite procedures – call customers to inform them about the possible symptoms, taking your temperature at the entrance of the residences of the elderly, Mr. Morissette is concerned always to be a vector of the virus. “It is annoying and stressful, we don’t want to kill anyone because it is vector “, he says.
The same clothes
The stress comes mainly from the fact that the AFS will retain their workwear all day, and go from one customer to another without change. They have access to few of the blouses that they should use only if they are in contact with an infected person.
However, the risk also comes from possible asymptomatic cases. “If I hang on a bed, then on the bed of another client, there may be contamination,” says an AFS of Laval, who had received only one coat of protection since the beginning of the crisis.
“Our self, our shoes may be contaminated,” says the one who does not want to be identified.
In Laval, at least six AFS have been placed in isolation after being infected. However, some clients need four treatments a day. “Sometimes it’s four different people. It is a lot of visits, a lot of contacts.”
With the déconfinement, the AFS are convinced that the risks of contamination are greatest. “He carries the virus, provide us the necessary equipment “, request the president of the Association, Helen Lauzé.
The employees of the home care remind us that they give baths, feed the customers, or the lie, of gestures repeated up to 10 times per day. “It is a work of the vicinity, it is all the time glued. ”
They are already made to the idea that they would not have in their possession N95 masks that can protect them, but hope to have book covers to protect their client.
“We request booklets for each of our visits, in the evening we are going to talk to the worst,” said Ms. Bourque speaking of gowns reusable.