More surveillance in private residences for seniors

News 21 March, 2018
  • Archival Photo, QMI Agency
    On January 23, 2014, a major fire struck the Residence for the elderly du Havre in L’isle-Verte. 32 deaths were beset

    Gilles Turmel

    Wednesday, 21 march, 2018 18:53

    Wednesday, 21 march, 2018 18:53

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    The private residences for seniors in Quebec will soon be subject to new rules regarding fire safety. In addition to the obligation to install sprinklers, the regulations force the addition of qualified personnel to intervene at any time in case of fire.

    It was precisely one of the recommendations of the investigation report on the fire in the Residence du Havre in L’isle-Verte, in Bas-Saint-Laurent, where 32 elderly people had lost their lives in January 2014.

    Four years later, Quebec has made it mandatory for surveillance 24 hours on 24, seven days a week in all private residences for seniors. In those for autonomous people, employees, but also volunteers and even tenants will be able to ensure this surveillance. But in schools where more heavy, new staff must be hired.

    “We will not make the police regulatory. But it is expected that people comply with the regulations as quickly as possible,” said Wednesday the minister of Health Gaétan Barrette.

    The Regroupement québécois des résidences pour aînés supports that some of its members will not be able to afford the costs of this new rule.

    “We were required sprinklers, to revise certain standards related to the building, the alarm systems. All of that is additional costs. And we add staff. It is not against, but at the same time it weakens a lot the small homes”, said its president, Yves Desjardins.

    In order to avoid many of the closures and an exodus to the public network, the organization offers to Quebec to increase financial aid to seniors. “Especially for low-income seniors so that they can have additional help to stay in their communities,” said Yves Desjardins.

    The minister of Health does not say no to this suggestion. There are currently 1821 private residences for seniors in Quebec. They are home to more than 133 000 people aged.