Residential and long-term care centre (CHSLD)

A person can always say where they would like to go. However, during the pandemic, the facility will prioritize access based on the person’s needs and the availability of places.

If the CHSLD recommended is not the one the person wants to go to, a transfer to the facility they want to go to will be arranged once the pandemic is over.

Some essential items that are not available in the CHSLD can be delivered to residents. Precautions must be taken when delivering items to prevent contact with anyone in the CHSLD. You must leave immediately after giving the items to a staff member at reception.

Always keep your distance from other people, avoid direct contact and practice cough and sneeze etiquette as usual.

All laundry will be done by the CHSLD for residents. This temporary measure will limit interaction with the outside world and help prevent the spread of the virus.

Residents are being asked to stay in the CHSLD. They are allowed to go out when necessary or in exceptional circumstances, such as to go to an medical appointment. Protecting their health also means maintaining their usual medical follow-ups and consulting when necessary. Several clinics also offer telephone consultations. When they return to the CHSLD, the required infection prevention and control measures will be taken.

You can move someone who is living in a CHSLD out and care for them in your own home. However, certain rules apply:

  • Your loved one must be made aware of the implications of the decision. For example:
    • They will not be able to receive home care services of the same standard as the care and services provided in the CHSLD.
    • When they return to the CHSLD, before or after the pandemic is over, they will have to go through the access mechanism to obtain a place in a CHSLD. This means that their room may have been given to another resident.
  • You must consider your loved one’s medication needs if they leave the CHSLD. You must make sure they will continue to take their medication.
  • Your loved one will have to go to or be brought to the entrance of the CHSLD so that you do not have to go inside. You will be responsible for arranging transportation.
  • If the person has significant home care needs, the facility may refuse to allow them to leave in the interest of their safety, given the limited capacity of home care teams at the moment due to the pandemic.
  • If a resident is incompetent, the facility must make sure they obtain consent from the legal representative before authorizing the resident to leave.
  • You may have to go to a region that is in lockdown to move your loved one out of their CHSLD. This will be considered interregional travel for humanitarian reasons. Written confirmation from the CHSLD may make it easier to get through road checkpoints.

You can move a loved one out of a CHSLD where cases of COVID‑19 have been reported out and care for them in your own home.

However, it is recommended that infection prevention and control measures be put in place to minimize the risk of contamination in your home. You should follow these instructions:

  • All members of the household must wash their hands frequently.
  • As much as possible, a distance of 2 metres must be maintained between people in the home.
  • Do not have visitors to the home.
  • The person you are caring for must not go out to visit other family members or to go to a public place (for example, grocery store, pharmacy, bank, etc.);
  • If the person you are caring for has to go out for health care, they must have an appointment. They should avoid using public transit and should maintain a distance of 2 metres from other people, as much as possible;
  • Other members of the household must only go out when necessary and must follow strict hand hygiene measures before, during and after doing so;
  • High-touch items and surfaces, such as door handles, faucets, switches and stair rails should be cleaned and disinfected often.

If any of the following situations apply to your loved one who lives in a CHSLD or to a member of your household, you will not, temporarily, be able to have your loved one stay with you:

  • The person who wishes to leave a facility or one of the people in the household where they would be staying has one or more symptoms of COVID‑19 (unusual cough, fever, difficulty breathing, sudden loss of sense of smell without a stuffy nose, with or without loss of sense of taste);
  • The person who wishes to leave a facility or one of the people in the household where they would be staying has specifically been told to self-isolate by public health because they:
    • have had close contact (high or moderate risk exposure) with a confirmed case of COVID-19;
    • are waiting for a COVID‑19 test result.

In these situations, you will have to wait until the person is allowed to end their self-isolation before making arrangements to move your loved one out of the CHSLD.

Staff in CHSLDs understand that it is important for residents to stay connected with family and friends. If necessary, CHSLD staff can help the resident use the telephone or an alternative method of communication so that they can stay in touch with family and friends.

In addition, people designated by the CHSLD will be responsible for contacting families or friends regularly to keep them informed of the resident’s health and well-being.

It depends on whether or not the resident is able to eat on their own. During the pandemic, CHSLDs have to reduce the number of people in the dining room by 50% in order to keep a distance of 2 metres between people. Consequently, only residents who need help or close supervision during meals are allowed to go to the dining room.

Residents who are able to eat on their own must have their meals in their room. However, staff will offer to prepare the tray completely for them when it is delivered (open containers, cut up food, etc.) In addition, a person will be designated to supervise and attend to the needs of residents who have their meals in their room, for example, if a resident drops a utensil.

Residents are not allowed to go out, since they might bring the virus into the CHSLD when they return. This includes visits to their families.

CHSLDs allow visits for humanitarian reasons, such as when death is imminent (24-48 hours). A maximum of two visitors are allowed at a time.

CHSLD staff will screen visitors for symptoms of COVID-19. If they have symptoms, special measures will be taken to keep residents and staff safe.

Then, visitors will be escorted to make sure they comply with infection prevention and control measures. Their visit will be restricted to the location where their dying loved one is.

If a resident is in isolation because of COVID-19, staff will have to help visitors put on and take off the necessary personal protective equipment.

Everyone who works in the CHSLD must comply with basic infection prevention and control practices:

  • wash their hands often with soap under warm running water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand rub;
  • cover their mouth and nose with their arm to reduce the spread of germs if they cough or sneeze;
  • use a tissue to blow their nose, dispose of it as soon as possible and wash their hands afterwards;
  • avoid direct contact when they greet someone, such as shaking hands.

In addition, staff use personal protective equipment as recommended by the facility’s infection prevention and control teams and by the Institut national de santé publique du Québec.

If a resident has symptoms of COVID-19, they must be separated from other residents immediately. Infection prevention and control measures are increased. The resident’s health is monitored constantly.

Since it is impossible for a hairdresser to keep a distance of 2 metres from their client and since a no-visitor policy has been implemented in CHSLDs, hairdressing services cannot be maintained.

Although visits have been suspended, a significant caregiver can provide support to someone who lives in a CHSLD provided they comply with certain conditions.

To be provided with support by a significant caregiver, CHSLD residents must have received support from the person before visiting restrictions were put in place due to COVID‑19.

As of May 11, 2020, caregivers will have to comply with certain measures. In particular, they will have to:

  • Wear a procedure mask at all times;
  • Practice strict hand hygiene;
  • Monitor themselves closely for symptoms;
  • The caregiver may be asked to use additional personal protective equipment depending on the resident’s condition.

A gift can be delivered to a resident in a CHSLD. However, there may be some exceptions, depending on the CHSLD, check with it before having a gift delivered.

Home-cooked meals can be accepted. However, the container must be able to be disinfected before being transmitted to the resident.

Flower delivery can be accepted. Flowers, like all other gifts, must be placed at the entrance, wrapped.

Pregnancy and perinatal services

At present, pregnant women can be accompanied by a loved one when giving birth in Québec hospitals. However, hospitals may adopt certain specific measures, as is the case at the Montreal Jewish General Hospital. To obtain additional information in this regard, pregnant women can contact their hospital.

Family doctors and specialists

Regardless of why you need a medical consultation, if you have flu-like symptoms, gastroenteritis or symptoms of COVID‑19, call 418‑644‑4545, 450‑644‑4545, 514‑644‑4545, 819‑644‑4545 or 1‑877‑644‑4545 (toll free) and you will be referred to the appropriate resource.

If you do not have flu-like symptoms, gastroenteritis or symptoms of COVID‑19, you can always consult if you need to by, contacting your family doctor, medical clinic or family medicine group (FMG) to make an appointment for a consultation over the telephone or in person. If you are unable to reach your medical clinic or are not registered with a family doctor, you can call Info‑Santé 811 to speak to a nurse, get advice about what to do and be referred, if necessary, to the appropriate resource.

People who have a chronic disease (e.g., diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, degenerative disease, etc.), cancer or any other disease or condition that requires regular health follow-up are, in particular, encouraged to have these follow-ups and go to their medical appointments.

Yes, the RAMQ will from now on cover health services provided by correspondence or by means of telecommunications. This coverage includes, for example, a telephone consultation with a physician.

Caregivers

Due to the pandemic, many informal caregivers find that their everyday life has been disrupted. You may be wondering what the best way to support your loved one is. You have to solve practical problems, provide moral support, perhaps help them out financially too.

Please read the Public Health Recommendations for Informal Caregivers This hyperlink will open in a new window. brochure. It provides information about how you can:

  • take care of yourself;
  • create a support network that is adapted to the situation so that you can maintain your health and quality of life;
  • stay connected with your loved ones despite physical distancing measures and visitor restrictions in some facilities;
  • make the best possible decisions for your health and your loved ones’ health during the coronavirus disease (COVID‑19) pandemic;
  • get referred to appropriate resources for your situation.

In addition, caregiver Support Helpline counsellors are there to listen to you, answer your questions and, if necessary, refer you to programs and resources that can help you in your everyday life. Do not hesitate to call them at 1‑855‑852‑7784 or to visit the Caregiver Support This hyperlink will open in a new window. website.

You are allowed to accompany someone who is blind or visually impaired. To keep safe, you must follow the health recommendations for everyone and, if you cannot maintain a physical distance of 2 metres, wearing a mask is strongly recommended.

To prepare yourself properly for your first visit, we suggest your read the webpage Informal and family caregivers during the coronavirus disease (COVID‑19) pandemic which was created to assist you.

It contains information and video clips that will be useful for:

  • preparing for your first visit, since it is highly likely that the facility you visited before the COVID‑19 pandemic has changed significantly;
  • checking if you meet the criteria for determining that an informal caregiver is authorized to provide support in a facility;
  • letting you know what is involved and what risks are associated with going into your loved one’s facility so that you can make a voluntary and informed decision;
  • learning about the safety guidelines and hygiene and protective measures you will have to follow;
  • practical advice that will make your visit more enjoyable, such as eating and drinking well before you visit your loved one, since it might be difficult to do so once you have put the protective equipment on;
  • advice that you can read and, if necessary, follow to protect your psychological health and continue distance socializing with your loved one;
  • learning how to deal with grief during the pandemic if you have had the misfortune to lose a loved one.

You can also read and print out the Information sheet for informal and family caregivers whose loved one is institutionalized This hyperlink will open in a new window.. It describes the infection prevention and protective measures that you will have to follow and links that you might find very helpful.

Yes. While there is a firm commitment to authorizing informal caregivers to provide significant assistance or support to a person who is living in a CHSLD, an intermediate or family-type resource or a RPA, a facility may deny access to informal caregivers. They may do so when:

  • your situation does not meet the definition for informal caregivers who are authorized to provide such support;
  • you have been told to self-isolate, you have symptoms or you live with someone in either of these situations;
  • your behaviour compromises your safety and that of the resident you are providing support to, other residents and staff members;
  • the facility is dealing with a particular situation and it has been agreed, with the prior authorization of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, that informal caregiver visits will be temporarily suspended.

A manager or designated person in CHSLDs, intermediate or family-type resources and RPA will be able to answer your questions and respond to your concerns if you are not satisfied with how the ministerial directives are being interpreted and applied. Contact the facility to find out who the manager or designated person is. If you are still not satisfied, you will be asked to contact the service quality and complaints commissioner. We assure you that the entire procedure will be conducted with tact, sensitivity and impartiality.

No. If someone in your home has symptoms or is self-isolating, you cannot visit your loved one even if you do not have symptoms of COVID‑19. It is important to follow this instruction to keep everyone safe. During the COVID‑19 pandemic, there might be very serious consequences for the residents, including your loved one.

Private seniors’ residences (RPA)

Since March 13, 2020, non-essential visits to RPA have been prohibited in order to protect the most vulnerable and workers in the health and social services network.

Food can be delivered to RPA. Precautions must be taken when delivering food to prevent contact with anyone in the residence. You must leave immediately after giving the food to a staff member at reception.

Always keep your distance from other people, avoid direct contact and practice cough and sneeze etiquette as usual.

Some essential items that are not available in the residence can be delivered to residents. Precautions must be taken when delivering items to prevent contact with anyone in the residence. You must leave immediately after giving the items to a staff member at reception.

Always keep your distance from other people, avoid direct contact and practice cough and sneeze etiquette as usual.

They are allowed to go out, such as to go to a medical appointment. Protecting their health also means maintaining their usual medical follow-ups and consulting when necessary. Several clinics also offer telephone consultations.

Before you go to your appointment, make sure it has not been cancelled due to the pandemic. If it has not been cancelled and you are unable to go on your own, another person can accompany you provided they:

  • do not have symptoms of COVID-19;
  • have not had contact with a person who has COVID-19 or thinks they have it.

The person must keep at least 2 metres away from you the entire time and follow all recommendations for preventing the spread of the virus.

When you return to the residence, all infection prevention and control measures must be rigorously applied. For example, you must:

  • wash your hands often with soap under warm running water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand rub;
  • cover your mouth and nose with your arm to reduce the spread of germs if you cough or sneeze. If you use a tissue, dispose of it as soon as possible and wash your hands afterwards;
  • avoid direct contact when you greet someone, such as shaking hands.

It is recommended that visits be limited to close family.

However, all residents of private seniors’ homes, including those age 70 or older, are now allowed to go out for a walk and to run essential errands (grocery store, pharmacy, etc.) provided they comply with all of the following conditions:

  • keep 2 metres away from other people at all times;
  • avoid gatherings;
  • follow all the infection prevention and control measures recommended by public health when they return.

You can move a loved one out of their RPA out and care for them in your own home. However, certain rules apply:

  • Your loved one must be made aware of the implications of the decision. For example:
    • They will not be able to receive home care services of the same standard as the care and services they may be receiving in the RPA.
    • They will remain subject to the regulations in effect regarding their lease.
  • You must consider your loved one’s medication needs if they leave the residence. To ensure they continue to take their medication, you will have make sure they have an adequate supply.
  • Your loved one will have to go to or be brought to the entrance so that you do not have to go inside. You will be responsible for arranging transportation.
  • If the person has significant home care needs, the facility may refuse to allow them to leave in the interest of their safety, given the limited capacity of home care teams at the moment due to the pandemic.

You may have to go to a region that is in lockdown to move your loved one out of a RPA. This will be considered interregional travel for humanitarian reasons. Written confirmation from the residence may make it easier to get through road checkpoints.

You can move a loved one out of a RPA where cases of COVID‑19 have been reported out and care for them in your own home.

However, it is recommended that infection prevention and control measures be put in place to minimize the risk of contamination in your home. You should follow these instructions:

  • All members of the household must wash their hands frequently.
  • As much as possible, a distance of 2 metres must be maintained between people in the home.
  • Do not have visitors to the home.
  • The person you are caring for must not go out to visit other family members or to go to a public place (for example, grocery store, pharmacy, bank, etc.);
  • If the person you are caring for has to go out for health care, they must have an appointment. They should avoid using public transit and should maintain a distance of 2 metres from other people, as much as possible;
  • Other members of the household must only go out when necessary and must follow strict hand hygiene measures before, during and after doing so;
  • High-touch items and surfaces, such as door handles, faucets, switches and stair rails should be cleaned and disinfected often.

If any of the following situations apply to your loved one who lives in a RPA or to a member of your household, you will not, temporarily, be able to have your loved one stay with you:

  • The person who wishes to leave a facility or one of the people in the household where they would be staying has one or more symptoms of COVID‑19 (unusual cough, fever, difficulty breathing, sudden loss of sense of smell without a stuffy nose, with or without loss of sense of taste);
  • The person who wishes to leave a facility or one of the people in the household where they would be staying has specifically been told to self-isolate by public health because they:
    • have had close contact (high or moderate risk exposure) with a confirmed case of COVID‑19;
    • are waiting for a COVID‑19 test result.

In these situations, you will have to wait until the person is allowed to end their self-isolation before making arrangements to move your loved one out of the RPA.

At this time, all visits to RPA are prohibited. Virtual visits are recommended if a new resident would like to see their future home before they sign a lease.

A gift can be delivered to a resident in a RPA. However, there may be some exceptions depending on the RPA, check with it before having a gift delivered.

Home-cooked meals can be accepted. However, the container must be able to be disinfected before being transmitted to the resident.

Flower delivery can be accepted. Flowers, like all other gifts, must be placed at the entrance, wrapped.

Although visits have been suspended, a significant caregiver can provide support to someone who lives in RPA provided they comply with certain conditions.

To be provided with support by a significant caregiver, RPA residents must have received support from the person before visiting restrictions were put in place due to COVID‑19.

As of May 11, 2020, caregivers will have to comply with certain measures. In particular, they will have to:

  • Wear a procedure mask at all times;
  • Practice strict hand hygiene;
  • Monitor themselves closely for symptoms;
  • The caregiver may be asked to use additional personal protective equipment depending on the resident’s condition.