Before Québec Premier François Legault’s call for help in long-term care homes, better-known as CHSLDs, Member of the National Assembly (MNA) for Marquette, Enrico Ciccone had already volunteered to help. In fact, just a few days earlier, he had contacted Lynn Mcvey, President and CEO of CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de Montréal.
Last Friday, Ciccone was sent to Centre d’hébergement Nazaire-Piché in Lachine, where he quickly noticed a lack of personnel.
“During my first two hours at the CHSLD Nazaire-Piché, I was assigned to do the laundry, distributing and collecting meal trays or feeding the beneficiaries. But two hours later, I found myself on the fourth floor with the most cases of COVID-19 alongside a nurse’s aide and two orderlies,” relayed Ciccone of his experience.
“There is an extreme lack of manpower,” he added. “It was very tough for us to do our job. After a few hours, two of the orderlies had to leave because they tested positive for COVID-19.”
On the West Island, 150 workers are infected with COVID-19 and this brings down the number of staff.
“That’s why we’re asking for help, while we do something else to help the residents, the orderly can do their job. Last night was a great night. We had more manpower,” continued Ciccone.
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“It’s very tough mentally when you go back to your car and start that you could have done, you need to remember that people are there 24 hours a day… and if you don’t feed them, they die. It’s the satisfaction of thinking I kept those people alive.”
The 4th floor of Centre d’hébergement Nazaire-Piché is a hot zone, as 14 out of 18 residents are infected with the coronavirus. Ciccone reported having to wear full Personal Protective Equipment which makes breathing very hard.
“It’s very hot and physical. Close to 95% of the orderlies are women and they do whatever they can, but they need guys like us for some of the heavy lifting,” Ciccone continued.
He also confirmed that 13 army soldiers are currently helping out at the old Veteran’s Hospital (now CHSLD Sainte-Anne).
“These people are trained to witness difficult situations. What I’m seeing right now in CHSLDs is that we need arms. People to lend a hand. Not everybody is made to attend to people. They (CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal) deployed 130 volunteers that wanted to help and 54 of them left in the first hour because they couldn’t handle it. Yes, we have to raise salaries, but we also have to prepare people to see what they have to see.”
About Enrico Ciccone
Elected as MNA for Marquette in 2018, he is the Official Opposition Critic for Sports, Recreation and Healthy Living. Former NHL defenseman who played from 1991 to 2001 for teams such as the Washington Capitals and the Montreal Canadians. Ciccone holds a certificate in law from UQAM.
About Centre d’hébergement Nazaire-Piché
A CHSLD, Centre d’hébergement Nazaire-Piché, is located on 15th avenue, in Lachine. The Centre falls under the mission of CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de Montréal.