Résidences Floralies: distraught employees and residents “in distress”
A few weeks ago, the employees and residents of the Floralies de Lasalle and Lachine learned that their long-term care establishments will be closing their doors, after several months spent under the supervision of the CIUSSS of the West-of-the-Island-of-Montreal.
At the Floralies de Lasalle, more than a hundred employees denounce the lack of clarity regarding the conditions of their dismissal and deplore the distress experienced by the 200 residents in the face of this announcement.
Last September, the Floralies de Lasalle had been placed under the temporary supervision of the CIUSSS following poor management by the private employer, who had notably stopped paying the salaries of the employees. Faced with a situation that was not improving, the decision was taken to close the establishment and to move its residents to other care establishments.
“We would have hoped that this guardianship would end and allow us to start again with good care and good services for residents, explains the president of the Quebec union of service employees, Sylvie Nelson. If residents are moved to other CIUSSSs, they will be uprooted. It's a shock for the residents, because they are worried about changing places.”
Many employees fear that they will not be able to find a job afterwards because they do not have a sufficient level of education. Over the years, the residents of Les Floralies have been able to develop a relationship of trust and exchange with the nursing staff, but this relationship is now threatened as some residents have already started to be transferred elsewhere.
“It creates distress among residents. Some are 96 years old, they thought it would be their last home, but they will be uprooted, explains the union adviser, Valérie Boulanger. The employees, in addition to living insecurity with their own precariousness, they face all these crying spells, they have to manage the stress of the residents as well.”
Employees should know more about their out by next Monday, from the CIUSSS. The union has taken steps with other seniors' residences to give employees a “priority” interview.
Residents in great distress
Luise Mpembe has been a beneficiary attendant for more than a year at the Floralies residence. She could see the psychological state of the residents deteriorating since the announcement of the closure of the establishment.
“This morning I dabbed with two residents, I dropped off the cabaret, I made them sit down to eat and they burst into tears, for ten minutes I had to take the time to reassure them, it’s really sad, explains Luise Mpembe. I find it inhuman, because these people didn’t ask for anything, we were like a family and these people are leaving at lightning speed. It’s heavy for us to carry.”
Another resident in her 90s also reportedly broke down in tears when Luise brought her lunch this morning. According to Luise, this person had been crying for several weeks following the announcement of the closure of the Floralies Lasalle. This same resident was reportedly put under surveillance by nursing staff after she expressed suicidal ideation.
Allegations of mistreatment of Floralies residents have tarnished the establishment’s reputation in the past, which directly complicates the process for employees to find work.
“Now on the job market we are discriminated against and no one tells us what our fate will be, we are left to ourselves, says Luise Mpembe. There are people here who worked during the pandemic, they put their lives in danger and today they are being told that they are going to lose their jobs and that we do not know where they will go.
Contacted by Métro, the CIUSSS de l'Ouest-de-l'Île-de-Montréal says it is available to meet again with union representatives and invites employees and unions to Communicate to him their concerns or anxieties in relation to their working conditions.
As for residents, a moving sequence is planned, starting with those with a CHSLD or RI profile. Subsequently, the CIUSSS will support RPA residents in their move.
“We are committed to supporting residents and their families throughout this process so that the moves and integration into the new living environment go smoothly, explains the CIUSSS. Our priority is to ensure the health, safety and well-being of residents and all our efforts and actions are directed in this direction.”