Residents of government health facilities had to wait more than three days in the dark of their rooms before being reconnected to the Hydro-Québec network following the freezing rain storm when they had to be prioritized . An unacceptable situation for many caregivers.

This is the case for at least two public CHSLDs in Montreal, namely Notre-Dame-de-la-Merci, in the borough of Ahuntsic-Cartierville, and Pierre-Joseph-Triest, in the borough of Mercier– Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, learned La Presse.

It should be noted that the essential functions of these establishments, such as the lights in the hallways and certain elements of the kitchens, for example, were powered by a generator, but not the lights in the residents’ rooms.

A caregiver of a CHSLD Pierre-Joseph-Triest resident, Jean Bazinet, still does not understand how his cousin could have been left in the dark during these three long days.

“There are at least 300 residents, it’s incomprehensible,” continues the caregiver.

Last Sunday, La Presse reported that at least three private residences for seniors (RPA) in Montreal had to wait three or four days before being reconnected to the current, even if they had to be prioritized according to what had been declared by Hydro- Quebec at the start of the crisis, last week1.

According to the response provided by a Hydro-Québec spokesperson at the time, some RPAs were not registered as such on the lists of their Regional Civil Security Organization, organizations that come under the Ministry of Public Security ( MSP), hence the delay.

Asked Tuesday morning who was responsible for updating these lists and why public CHSLDs were not there, the MSP was unable to answer our questions during the day. .

At the CIUSSS de l’Est-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, to which the CHSLD Pierre-Joseph-Triest reports, it is claimed to have been “in continuous communication with the regional coordination table for civil security in Quebec throughout along the breakdown”.

“The situation of all our facilities was therefore taken into account from hour to hour. Hydro-Québec restored electricity to the CHSLD Pierre-Joseph-Triest very early Sunday morning, and this CHSLD was the last of our establishments to be reconnected,” said the assistant to the president and CEO, Christian Merciari, without specify how many establishments had to wait more than 24 hours before being reconnected.

We add that we have “kept the families constantly informed” of the situation, which caregiver Jean Bazinet denies.

“The CHSLD has a communication system where they send information to everyone and no, they haven’t sent us any information. Yet [this system] is still working since I just received a communication that they are going to install a central ventilation system,” he explained on Tuesday.

As for the CIUSSS du Nord-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, which includes the CHSLD Notre-Dame-de-la-Merci, we have not been able to answer a series of questions so far. sent Tuesday morning.

According to Denyse Gagnon, a relative of whom lives in the establishment, the building remained disconnected from the Hydro-Québec network from Wednesday to Saturday evening, more than 72 hours.

If the elevators and one in three neon lights in the corridors were powered by a generator, this was not the case for the ventilation or the dumbwaiter heating system. Thus, Denyse Gagnon’s relative had to eat cold, in addition to remaining idle in her room lit only by daylight.

According to the CIUSSS website, the CHSLD Notre-Dame-de-la-Merci has about 200 beds on three floors and accommodates “people with a great loss of autonomy”.

“Luckily it didn’t happen in the middle of a heat wave or -30°C. I don’t know what they would have done. With those generators, they wouldn’t have been able to heat all those rooms,” she worries.

Called to react, the Federation of the Golden Age of Quebec (FADOQ) believes that Hydro-Quebec “will have to be accountable on this subject”. “In general, it is clear for the Réseau FADOQ that living environments for seniors, especially those that house vulnerable clienteles, must be reconnected as a priority,” it says.

The office of the Minister for Health and Seniors, Sonia Bélanger, did not respond to a question posed by La Presse on Tuesday.