Quebec sets new policy goals for long-term care centres

Marguerite Blais is on medical leave and will be replaced at the hearings on Nov. 17 by Danielle McCann, the province's former health minister who is serving as minister of higher education. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

Quebec’s Minister for Seniors unveiled new policy goals for housing and care for seniors, saying the government is taking a new direction into how care and services will be delivered.

Marguerite Blais says she and a team of consultants spent several years talking to experts in the field and examining long term care homes, with more than 100 residential and long-term care centres (CHSLDs) visited in devising the policy.

She says the ultimate goal for seniors is to stay home and receive care in their own home environment.

In circumstances where that isn’t possible and support is necessary, she says she would like people to move into smaller settings.

Blais says seniors residences are not only places to live, but also places where care and help is needed. She said many people in these homes suffer from cognitive decline and appropriate care must be given to them.

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The minister is budgeting $10 million to develop the policy across the province.

She says many more staff are needed to ensure adequate care in these homes.

“We want to change the paradigm,” Blais said.  “We want the people to be able to talk for themselves and decide what they want for their life. It’s not because you are living in a long term care facility that you don’t have your own autonomy and you cannot live the way you want to live.”

While the policy was short on details, Blais said she will release an action plan by the fall.

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