Décès et deuils en RPA et CHSLD en contexte de pandémie de covid-19
- Valérie Bourgeois-Guérin, PhD, Associate Professor, Département de psychologie, Université du Québec à Montréal; Researcher, CREGÉS
The COVID-19 pandemic was particularly costly for the elderly. Ninety-one percent of the deaths related to this disease occurred among people aged 70 and over in Quebec (INSPQ, 2021a) and 73% of these victims died while living in residential and long-term care centers (CHSLDs) and seniors’ residences (RPAs) (INSPQ, 2021b). Many staff members and managers have experienced the loss of a resident. In this context, how have they experienced the end of life and bereavement? Qualitative research was conducted with managers and staff members of long-term care facilities and senior residences during the COVID-19 pandemic. The testimonies collected reveal that the end of life and the death of residents during the pandemic were difficult for many participants. Some used the metaphor of war to illustrate the violence of the disease, the suddenness and accumulation of losses, the disorganization and the threat that prevailed at the time. The results also reveal an alteration of the time lived, as the pandemic disrupted various end-of-life practices and following the death of a resident. The tasks to be accomplished multiplied and the pace of work accelerated, resulting in the perception of a dehumanization of care. Finally, the relationship to work has been shaken. Different perceptions of the workplace emerged from the testimonies and the changed nature of the work brought out various emotions. Suggestions for practices to support staff and older adults at the end of life and following death in senior residences and long-term care facilities will be explored.