Quebec allocating $5M to redecorate residential, long-term care centres

FILE PHOTO: Seniors from the CHSLD Armard-Lavergne. Sebastien Gagnon-Dorval / Global News

Marguerite Blais, the minister responsible for seniors and caregivers, wants to involve residents in the decoration of residential and long-term care centres (CHSLD).

At a press conference in Montreal on Sunday morning, Blais announced that $5 million will be allocated to redecorate certain spaces in CHSLDs with the collaboration of users and resident committees.

The latter will be able to determine how these funds should be used, in conjunction with the management of the Integrated Health and Social Services Centres (CISSS), where the funds will be transferred.

The small projects could include changing curtains, painting murals, creating outdoor gardens or installing aquariums.

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“We want to keep the personality of each establishment,” said Blais, adding that fishing tackle, for example, is often used for decorative purposes in the Gaspé.

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Blais said she would like to grant decision-making power to people who are in the residences — who often feel a great loss of autonomy.

The current living space at the CHSLD Armand-Lavergne in Montreal. Sebastien Gagnon-Dorval / Global News. Sebastien Gagnon-Dorval / Global News

That would help make the environment feel more like home, Blais said. She cited a study stating that familiar living environments would reduce verbal restlessness, anxiety and aggression.

“It goes with health too, it’s not just decorative” she said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

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The $5 million will be distributed among all the public and private CHSLDs under agreement in the province based on their number of beds, but also on the scale of the needs.

With the announced creation of 2,600 new spaces in the future “Homes for the Elderly” and “Alternative Homes”, a flagship project of the Coalition Avenir Québec, Blais said residents of CHSLDs will not be left behind.

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Some 2,500 existing places in CHSLDs will be renovated or rebuilt in parallel, said Blais, who floated the possibility of transforming the $5 million announced on Sunday into a recurring envelope.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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