Montreal, April 3rd, 2020 – Caregivers who live under the same roof with the person they care for, whether it be an elderly person, an adult or a child who is sick or has a disability, find the current confinement situation extremely hard. In order to allow caregivers to focus on patients afflicted with the Corona virus, many respite services that they were able to reach out to up until recently are now suspended: non-essential therapeutic services, day centers and respite activities are all canceled. Therefore, caregivers become more isolated, at risk of being the target of abuse and have to deal with their own anxiety coupled with that of their loved one. They have no possible replacement to rely on while the services they provide are essential for the most vulnerable segment of population.
“These routine upheavals cause a great deal of misunderstanding and caregivers are increasingly witnessing difficult behaviors, aggression or even mistreatment directed at them from the person they care for. Imagine, for example, being woken up in the middle of the night by your mother suffering from dementia who accuses you of keeping her captive to better steal her savings. Or even be a single parent of a child or an adult with autism so destabilized that he never leaves your side for a second, not even for you to be able to take a shower.” Reports Josée Côté, Executive Coordinator of the Regroupement des aidants Naturels du Québec (RANQ).
Supporting Caregivers is Everyone’s Business!
All Quebecers can actively participate in supporting confined caregivers. “Small thoughtful gestures such as checking up on people around you who you know take care of a loved one, offering them to do their grocery shopping, all add up and can make a positive difference in their daily lives. We are also witnessing the rise of local initiatives, for instance, Meals on Wheels or regular restaurants, that offer meal deliveries at low affordable costs to caregivers. These initiatives could be supported and extended geographically.” explains Mélanie Perroux, Development Coordinator at the RANQ.
Moreover, employers can also help relieve the burden of caregivers by agreeing to remote work, and to work flexible shifts or a reduced working week. It becomes important at this stage to avoid stigmatization of employees who find themselves unable to go to work since they have to take care of a loved one or because they fear infecting a person at risk.
In such trying times, community organizations continue to provide services despite the fact that they can no longer provide group activities, such as group counseling, and now rely on online or phone services.
Here are some helpful resources:
- Tel-Aînés help line: 514 353-2463
- email@example.com and info-aide help line: 1 855 852-7784
- SOS Domestic Violence: 1 800 363-9010
- Entraide Montreal crisis line: 514 278-2130
- Suicide Action Montreal toll free crisis line: 1 866 277-3553
- Entraide crisis line, elsewhere in Quebec, toll free 1 855 ONLINE / 1-855-365-4463
- Health Info 811
- 211 to find out about the services offered by community organizations
- List of helplines & talklines in the Greater Montreal Area:
Founded in 2000, the Regroupement des Aidants Naturels du Québec (RANQ), brings together 94 members and represents more than 21,000 caregivers across the Province of Quebec. RANQ has acquired expertise from all caregivers and has the mission to improve their quality of life.