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Home support for the elderly |  Quebec believes the waiting list is shorter, but impossible to delete

Home support for the elderly | Quebec believes the waiting list is shorter, but impossible to delete

(Quebec) – Fewer seniors are now waiting for home support services, but it will be impossible to eliminate the waiting list, Sonia Belanger said Wednesday.

We are still a long way from providing universal service to all older people, as recommended by the Health and Social Care Commissioner.

Quebec is still at the bottom of industrialized countries in terms of funding home support services, Dr. Genevieve Deschênes lamented.

Home support services range from home help services to babysitting, troubleshooting, nutrition, family tasks, etc.

In a speech at the National Home Support Meeting in Quebec, the minister noted that the waiting list, which included 21,000 people last year, has been reduced to 16,500 people as of March 31.

However, there will always be seniors who will have to wait to get the services they need to remain independent at home.

“It's not going to be about getting this back to zero in a year, that's impossible to do,” she said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

“There will always be a waiting list because there are always people registering every day.”

However, the Health and Welfare Commissioner, who gave a troubling assessment of Quebec's home support system at the beginning of the year, believes everyone should have access to services if they need them — at the same time, and it's universal.

“The universal nature (of home support) is non-negotiable in our society, so yes, it is an important principle because it is important for our residents, and I think that is very clear,” the Deputy Commissioner for Evaluation said. The organization's chief scientist, Georges Charles Thibaut, in an interview with the Canadian Press.

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“If we want to maintain a just society that guarantees protection for all its residents, this is absolutely essential.”

On Tuesday, the Liberal Party called for a public debate on the universality of home support.

Liberal MP Linda Caron, who participated in the national meeting on Wednesday, expressed her regret that the minister was not attending this summit throughout the day, to take the pulse of healthcare organizations and professionals.

“As we speak, there are people waiting for services,” said General Director of the Network for Cooperation of Social Economy Institutions in the field of domestic help, J. Benoit Caron.

“I'm in an emergency!” ” He said.

A report by the Health and Social Care Commissioner, published in January, provided a worrying assessment of the state of the home support system.

Commissioner Joan Castonguay said: In 2023, the system met only 10.7% of home support needs: it provided 25.4 million hours of services, while 234 million hours were needed.

MI However, Belanger noted that 37 million hours of service were provided last year.