Medical Specialists – Stakeholders in Acute Care Dispensed to the Elderly

Montreal, November 17, 2016 – The Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec (FMSQ) hopes the Forum sur les meilleures pratiques en CHSLD (forum on best practices in CHSLDs), which is being held in Montreal on November 17 and 18, will not turn out to be simply a sad testimonial to our failings in how we care for the elderly. "It is easy to impose cutbacks on those who can't defend themselves. We want to have a stake in the advancement of acute care for residents of CHSLDs, at the level of the 2nd and 3rd line," insists the President, Dr Diane Francœur.

For example, Quebec's specialists in emergency medicine are developing a growing expertise to deal with the "grey tsunami" because they are deeply concerned with the care provided to vulnerable elderly patients and CHSLD residents in Quebec. Some solutions are simple and, above all, are based on good communications between staff in CHSLDs and emergency services. Sometimes it means providing relief, not a cure. "We know that emergency rooms are at times chaotic. Imagine yourself in such a place with a hearing problem, diminished eyesight, limited mobility and cognitive deficits : this is what vulnerable people experience. Better care involves, among others, minimal transfers of CHSLD residents to emergency rooms. Taking people out of their environment makes them more vulnerable to all kinds of problems, including falls and delirium," explains Dr Élyse Berger Pelletier, President of the Association des spécialistes en médecine d'urgence du Québec (ASMUQ).

CHSLDs are both a living environment and a care environment. We must give precedence to better practices in CHSLDs that are based on our knowledge in geriatric medicine. Where is Quebec in mandatory training and the maintenance of competencies for the healthcare professionals and staff who work there ? "In a care environment, we are concerned with basic hygiene; for example, changing diapers. But we can reduce this problem by adopting positive attitudes and applying knowledge based on scientific data," adds Dr Maurice St-Laurent, President of the Association des médecins gériatres du Québec (AMGQ).

The Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec represents more than 10,000 medical specialists certified in one of 59 recognized medical specialties.