The employees of the CHSLD Cap-Saint-Ignace, one of the most affected in Quebec, received a good dose of love and encouragement from the population who came to greet them in convoy on Monday, a balm after the hecatomb of the last few weeks.
The procession of fifteen cars paraded in front of the establishment, sounding their horns in the early afternoon Monday to honor the employees.
Organized by a resident of Repentigny, the convoy aimed to remind the “guardian angels” that the population is grateful for the fight they lead in the 43-seat residence. Half of the users are currently infected there and eight have died in the past few weeks.
“During the first wave, there was a lot of encouragement, but now it doesn’t show. I found that a shame because this is the moment when people are most discouraged, ”confides Pascale Fafard about the initiative she also brought to Joliette and Acton Vale recently. “I know what they’re going through. It is not something beautiful or easy. We are lucky to have them, ”adds the one who herself worked as a beneficiary attendant during the first wave.
Resident of Cap-Saint-Ignace, Marc Langlois would not have missed the event “for the world”. Her sister, Martine, died last Saturday from COVID-19, after six years spent at the CHSLD fighting an unequal fight against Alzheimer’s. She was 58 years old.
“The care my sister received has always been impeccable despite what they have to face. All the staff have always tried to accomplish the impossible and that’s why I wanted to be here today, ”says Mr. Langlois.
The gesture had the desired effect according to the direction of the CISSS Chaudière-Appalaches. As the convoy passed, all gathered at the windows of the establishment to receive the love of the locals.
“They were very moved, some even cried together,” explains Josée Chouinard, director of the CISSS Support and Autonomy Program for Seniors. “It is as if these people had put a little gas in the machine of the employees, who were also mostly affected by the disease”.
“It’s nice to see the population tell us: ” we know it’s rough, thank you for your work ”, adds Kevin Cloutier, auxiliary nurse, who did not see the convoy on Monday but who witnessed other gestures of support in recent weeks.
Situation under control
The CHSLD Cap-Saint-Ignace is therefore quietly recovering from the hair of the animal after having gone through a real massacre in the last weeks. At the worst of the crisis, more than 80% of staff and 70% of residents were infected.
“There are several employees who are starting to come back, they are really welcome, it feels good,” says Kevin Cloutier. “Management has changed the way things are done several times in the last few weeks, but now things really started to improve”.
Behind these changes is notably a visit by the Red Cross last week. Specialized teams accompanied the management of the CHSLD for four days.
“We have worked a lot on infection prevention and control measures. It was coaching in the field and it allowed us to apply best practices to the letter ”, specifies Josée Chouinard, also ensuring that the corrections made to Cap-Saint-Ignace were shared with the other management of establishments in the CISSS.