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Quebec presents plan to ‘overhaul’ long-term care for seniors

Click to play video: 'Quebec investing $2.9B to improve conditions in long-term care homes' Quebec investing $2.9B to improve conditions in long-term care homes
WATCH: Quebecers can expect an overhaul of the province’s long-term care facilities. The minister responsible for seniors says that's the plan with a $2.9B investment. As Global’s Gloria Henriquez reports, Marguerite Blais says she wants to revolutionize the way the elderly are cared for in seniors’ homes. – May 5, 2022

Seniors living in Quebec’s long-term care homes will have better quality of life. That’s the main goal of the government’s plan to overhaul the way seniors are cared for in the province.

“We want to change the culture,” said Marguerite Blais, Quebec’s minister responsible for seniors.

Blais’ plan has 25 measures, which include giving seniors more power over how they want to live their life.

“We want the patient to decide what time he wants to go and have breakfast, what time he wants to go bed,” Blais explained.

The minister wants to improve seniors’ health care by hiring more dentists and denturists, as well as more pharmacists to better manage the medications seniors are given.

READ MORE: Will Quebec’s ‘massive shift’ toward home care actually work?

“We don’t patients to be … you know, like this on a chair. We want them to be active,” Blais said.

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The province is planning to spend $20 million on improving food and food services, which includes hiring cooks and nutritionists.

Click to play video: 'Census data reveals a potential crisis in senior care' Census data reveals a potential crisis in senior care
Census data reveals a potential crisis in senior care – Apr 28, 2022

The patients, their caregivers and the community are at the heart of the plan.

“It’s an important step forward,” said Laura Tamblyn-Watts, CEO of CanAge, a pan-Canadian seniors advocacy group. “Not just in trying to fix the buildings in seniors care, but actually fix the relationships and that trust.”

Read more: Quebec long-term care orderlies still waiting to be paid salary they were promised

Executing the plan will cost $2.9 billion.

Most of the money will go towards hiring staff, which comes amid a labour shortage and a difficulty retaining employees in the health-care sector.

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“This plan will need a very strong initiative to bring people into the seniors care sector and we have to see if they’re serious about doing it,” Tamblyn-Watts said.

While Quebec has taken steps to hire 10,000 orderlies, FADOQ, Quebec’s largest seniors advocacy group, says the government needs to do more, especially when it comes to reducing the patient-caregiver ratio.

That ratio is an important factor, “to ensure the safety and quality of care provided to the entire population,” said Gisèle Tassé-Goodman, FADOQ’s president.

READ MORE: Quebec vows to overhaul its beleaguered health-care system by 2025

The plan is to be put into place over the next five years, but with provincial elections around the corner, advocates hope it actually comes to fruition.

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