A caregiver of an 80 year old is exhausted and without resources

News 9 February, 2018
  • Photo Chantal Poirier
    Every time André Bouchard, 80 years old, wants to help his wife Claudette Zamipini to move in to the apartment or to go to the bathroom, it must be installed on a carriage adapted red and attach a harness. Achievement of Parkinson’s, it no longer works.

    Hugo Duchaine

    Friday, 9 February 2018 01:00

    Friday, 9 February 2018 01:00

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    Exhausted and short of money, a senior who attends one of his wife sick do not know where to turn for support. He is unable to give him a bath for the past 13 months, since he always waits for the help of the CLSC.

    “I’m crying two to three nights a week, sometimes for an hour […] I’m exhausted,” argues André Bouchard, while stroking the shoulder of his wife affect Parkinson’s disease, acute, seated at his side.

    Claudette Zampini and him have been married for 34 years and there is only death that will separate them, he promises. “Until the end of my life I’ll be with her, that’s for sure and certain,” said the Montrealer.

    “Never I’m going to send to the slaughterhouse “, lance-t-il without a detour to describe NURSING homes, where he feared to see it wither away too quickly.

    Every day, the man of 80 years, washing out his wife to bathe, clothe, feed, and done three loads of sheets a day, because she is incontinent. Since she is unable to walk for more than a year, it should install it and attaching it to a carriage adapted to go to the bathroom.

    He is unable to sit in the bath. After months of requests and letters sent to the minister of Health, Gaétan Barrette, and the mps, the CLSC has recently promised equipment to help, here ” four to eight weeks.”

    Still waiting

    In the letters received and viewed by The Journal, it was first written that it would have a response on November 10, for this equipment. But the confirmation has finally come to the end of January. However, in the new letter, the CLSC could not ” specify the date of installation of the equipment.”

    “As caregivers, we forget completely,” laments the octogenarian.

    He only gets $ 1500 per year to care for his spouse under the Programme of support for family caregivers.

    “It is 17 cents an hour,” he laments, noting that he is struggling 24 hours on 24 and seven days a week.

    However, it saves the government by keeping his wife at home. In a paper published last year, the ministry of Health estimated that there were over 64 000 $ the average cost to house a person for one year.

    André Bouchard appreciates the support it receives from the CLSC de Rosemont and Saint-Léonard, such as layers, free for his woman incontinent and visits by orderlies three times a week, but it is insufficient.

    His wife did not visit a doctor for a year. His neurologist retired and his family doctor told him that his case was too heavy.


    His wife has wounds on the ears that do not heal, and yesterday, the CLSC has promised him a visit from a nurse the next week. “It is now that she needs help,” he continued.

    André Bouchard contends he has no money to pay a babysitter, is about $ 80 per day, or for domestic help, for example. It must also take anti-anxiety medication in order to get through his days.

    But he insists that he can take care of it and he wants to continue to do so. It would only require a little more help.

    Joined yesterday, the CIUSSS-of-the-Island-of-Montreal said not to be in a position to comment on a specific case without the signed consent of the patient.

    The plight of family caregivers is ignored

    The fatigue and distress of family caregivers are too often ignored by the managers of the care home, lament experts.

    “They are perceived as supplementary resources and not as people who need help,” said the director general of the Regroupement caregiver of Montreal, Mario Late.

    However, take care of an ill family member, ” it is a lot to ask, especially to a person who is also elderly.

    “She also lives the loss of someone,” he continued.

    However, there was never a needs assessment of a relative during the site visit, a stakeholder, he says, unless he takes the initiative.

    NURSING homes are not the solution to all problems. Not only is the waiting list contains about 3,000 names, but the commitment of the close to also continue, ” he said.

    “Inconceivable “

    For the president of the provincial association of users ‘committees, Claude Ménard, it is simply “inconceivable” that a person at home can have a bath for the past 13 months.

    “It is a fundamental human need,” he says, inviting the managers to prioritize certain applications.

    It cannot be explained, however, not the “huge delays” in processing applications of home health care, recalling that the government has injected tens of millions of dollars in recent years.

    The people who remain at home are an economics major, according to him, for the health-care system, however, without services of adequate support, they will quickly wither and lose the necessary autonomy.

    Taken for granted

    For his part, Paul Brunet of the Council of the protection of the sick is categorical. Family caregivers are taken for granted.

    “You have to fight with the CLSC […] It is only if you are fighting that you’ll have the little that we can give you “, he laments, a little surprised by the situation that currently lives André Bouchard.

    “The animals at the Granby Zoo are washed more frequently,” ton-t-he.