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West Island seniors’ residence, health authorities not ready for family caregivers’ help

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Some families hit brick wall at long-term care homes' Coronavirus: Some families hit brick wall at long-term care homes
WATCH: Families of loved ones living at a private seniors residence in DDO are outraged that they are still not allowed inside. That's despite the government's promise to allow caregiver access as of May 11. Global's Dan Spector has the story. – May 11, 2020

May 11th was the day seniors’ residences across the province were set to start letting caregivers in to see their loved ones, but at some homes the situation is still not stable enough to let them in.

“I’m definitely worried. I’m definitely worried,” said Karen Squires, whose 89-year-old mother lives at Vigi Dollard des Ormeaux, one of the residences hardest hit by COVID-19 in Quebec. The coronavirus has killed 66 residents there since the beginning of the pandemic.

After testing positive, it seems Squires’ mother beat the virus.

“I don’t know when the testing was done, but they say she’s negative,” said Squires.

She has been counting down the days until she could go in and help care for her mother.

“My mom needs me now. She doesn’t need me in two or three weeks,” she told Global News.

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On Mothers’ Day, she got a letter from the president of Vigi-Sante, Vincent Simonetta.

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“While we are trying to reduce the presence of virus and this for the safety of all, we must restrict access to the CHSLD for a certain period,” it read.

“Once the situation has stabilized, we will be able to welcome and offer training for significant caregivers so that they can contribute to the well-being of their loved one.”

Squires wonders if the letter means the situation at Vigi DDO has deteriorated.

“Are there more cases? What does that really mean, you know? Let the caregivers in. The elders need their loved ones. They’re slipping away,” she told Global News.

READ MORE: Quebec families worried about proper care at West Island long-term care home

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“I want to see caregivers get in there as soon as possible,” said Squires.

On the day they were supposed to be allowed in, the West Island CIUSSS was not ready for caregivers, either. It told Global News caregivers still need to be trained, and then in the coming days, it will “allow access to caregivers in institutions on its territory, in accordance with the ministerial directive.”

Squires is set to go in for training this week.

“I’m sending prayers that we get in before it’s too late,” she said.

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