Cry of the heart of a caregiver: “She calls me crying!”

Cri du coeur d’un proche aidant: «Elle m’appelle en pleurant!»

Before the crisis of the COVID-19, Réjean Savard was coming to visit his daughter every day, up to 20 hours per week.

April 24, 2020 4: 00

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Cry of the heart of a caregiver: “She calls me crying!”

Cri du coeur d’un proche aidant: «Elle m’appelle en pleurant!»

Elizabeth Fleury

The Sun

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Suffering from a degenerative disease, Christina, 39 years old, is hosted at the CHSLD Saint-Augustin. Since the beginning of the health crisis, she can not see his father, who has always spent several hours a week with her to keep her company, make her eat and give her hygiene care. “Even this morning, she called me crying”, laments Réjean Savard, who has been waiting since the 16th of April that the CIUSSS of the National Capital gives effect to the government’s directive Legault letting more caregivers in residential environments.

Christina Savard is suffering from a hereditary disease recessive, neuropathy sensitivomotrice hereditary, found mainly in individuals originating from the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Charlevoix and Côte-Nord. His sister, who died three years ago, was also reached.

At 39 years of age (but with the mental age of a young adolescent, according to his father), Christina are living in NURSING homes, where she can receive all the care necessitated by his condition, including treatments to remove secretions that accumulate otherwise on the lungs.

Before the crisis of the COVID-19, Réjean Savard was coming to visit his daughter every day, up to 20 hours per week. He made him eat his purees, gave him his medication, washed her face, brushed her hair and her teeth, passed the floss… And, more importantly, it gave Christina all the emotional support she needs.

“She calls me crying. She says she is bored, she is tanned, she has’t wait for it to finish ”


Réjean Savard, who doesn’t hide having a broken heart”

Since 16 April, it is possible for family caregivers, under certain conditions, to come care core support to a housed person.

Réjean Savard meets all the criteria: it had already been regular visits to provide personal care to his daughter, he was known to the ltc facility prior to the COVID-19, and he is quite ready to follow the pre-service training on the prevention and control of infections.

“I’m used to it, my two girls have been sick all their lives. I often went to the hospital with them because they were pneumonia”, said Mr. Savard, aware that his daughter Christina, who underwent a tracheotomy, would not pass through the COVID-19 if she contracted. Fortunately, no cases have been reported at the CHSLD Saint-Augustin, sliding-t-il.

But lo and behold, the father of Christina are still waiting for news of the CIUSSS of the National Capital. “The prime minister has said that we could go there, but then, nothing happens! We call to the hosting center and nothing happens! It is as if the message wasn’t,” says Réjean Savard.

“It is said that there is a lack of arms [in NURSING homes], we bring in the army and all. Me, I have arms, and I have my card to volunteer there [at the CHSLD Saint-Augustin]. What I’m going to give care to my daughter, they will not need to give!” argued the 68-year old man, who is “ready to take all of the precautions that we are going to ask me to take”.

During their press briefing daily, April 14, François Legault, and the national director of public health, Dr. Horacio Arruda, had announced that as of April 16, some family caregivers were able to return to NURSING homes for the care of the residents.

“We think that, given the lack of staff in NURSING homes, it is worth to ask some caregivers to come and give us a hand”, said the prime minister.

The Sun tried Thursday to get the explanations of the CIUSSS of the National Capital, which we replied: “The visits caregivers are started from this week. Information meetings with those who wish to act as family caregivers are in progress and the schedules of visit are developed, pursuant to a clear procedure in order to harmonize the process. However, it is important to mention that no visit to a caregiver is only allowed if there is a suspected case or confirmed from the user or the caregiver.”

Le Soleil

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