Wage gap creating shortage of Quebec home health aides at the worst time: advocates
MONTREAL -- Quebec’s plan to train up 10,000 orderlies may fill the staffing needs in long-term care homes, as planned, but it’s already creating another void in the process, say some Quebecers.
Home care workers taking up the new job offers are “leaving us without people to come take care of us at home,” says France Rochon, who counts on a personal health-care worker to go about daily tasks.
That strain is already showing. Many Quebec families have complained that the quality of home-based health care has deteriorated in the last few months, with aides switching constantly or sometimes not showing up at all.
The problem, says Rochon, also an advocate for people with mobility needs, is that while these home-based workers are “essential,” they’re paid less than orderlies.
“Same work, same salary. It should be like that,” says Linda Gauthier, another advocate.
The problem is that the province’s pay and staffing system could create a vicious cycle, they say. A shortage of home-care workers would push people out of their houses and force them into care homes.
That would put more stress, in turn, on the homes, and for the long term.
“You never will leave that place,” says Gauthier.
“It's like a place that you're going there to die—but you know that you'll have the services you need.”
Of course, it’s not just a question of economics or efficiency, they say.
“I don't want to go and live in a home care residence,” says Rochon. “I'm still young, I still have things I want to do…things I want to live through.”
She’s calling on the government to prevent the problem by investing more in home care at the same time as it ramps up funding for care homes.
Watch the video above for the full report.