Labor and Cannabis: Concerns at Seniors’ Homes

Lack of manpower, worries about the legalization of cannabis and financial difficulties. Private residences for seniors are not spared by the topics of the day in Quebec.

As part of the annual tour of the Regroupement of Quebec residences for seniors (RQRA), the organization stopped in Sherbrooke on Wednesday. According to its president and CEO, Yves Desjardins, major social issues still have an impact on retirement homes.

One of the hot issues is recruiting staff, he says at La Tribune. “Our members are unanimous, they have trouble keeping employees. It’s worse in the kitchens and with the attendants, “he says.

“We have an action plan. We can no longer publish an ad and wait for the CV We must attract and seduce. We want to set up a lever of attraction with a firm specializing in human resources. Among the things that can be done to attract people, there is a group insurance plan that would be implemented. ”

Mr. Desjardins estimates that in certain types of employment the turnover reaches up to 60 per cent. “People do not stay,” says Desjardins.

“Also, we could turn to retirees to fill positions. We offer part-time jobs. These people need to know it. ”

“If we increase rents, people leave. Often, they end up in the CHLSD. ”
– Yves Desjardins


The RQRA has 67 members in Estrie. They were able to look into the legalization of cannabis scheduled for next summer. “We advocate a ban on cigarette consumption,” adds Desjardins.

“We notice that many residents use it in medical form. But we must prepare before it is too late. There is a big difference between federal law and provincial law. ”

The ability to grow up to four plants at home, as federal legislation will permit, is worrying, he says.

Seniors’ residences also need to be in line with new provisions of the Building Code. The installation of sprinklers remains an important issue. The RQRA continues to review the provincial budget tabled this week to find out if new measures will help its members.

Because they need support, notes Yves Desjardins. The closures of residences for the elderly have multiplied since the tragic fire that left 32 dead at the residence of Le Havre Isle-Verte.

“There is more and more regulation. It becomes heavy for the managers. We are not against security, but everything is increasing without the help it needs. If we increase rents, people leave. Often, they end up in the CHLSD. The government says itself that 11 percent of the customers do not have business there. ”

Finally, the Quebec tour also focused on the phenomenon of elder abuse. The RQRA took the opportunity from its members in the region to raise awareness in this regard and to present them with prevention tools.

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