The declaration of the COVID-19 public health emergency has led to many changes in the delivery of care services at CHSLDs. However, these changes have also led to a decrease in physical and social interventions. Physical deconditioning and an increased risk of falling are just two factors that can reduce seniors’ functional autonomy and quality of life.
Because of this, the Directorate of Support Programs for the Autonomy of Seniors at the CIUSSS du Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean has launched an innovative and exclusive internship program in conjunction with the UQAC Physiotherapy and the Cégep de Chicoutimi’s Physiotherapy Technology programs. The project aimed to counteract the adverse effects of deconditioning by providing physiotherapy services to CHSLD residents.
Sixteen graduating students in rehabilitation sciences and three clinical teachers in the field assisted two CHSLDs in the Saguenay region over four seven-week internships. The interventions brought many benefits to the residents, such as an increase in at least one functional capacity (transfer, standing position, etc.). In addition, several residents started to resume daily functional activities such as walking or going up and down stairs.
Thus, in addition to lending a helping hand in a context where all human resources had to be mobilized, the primary objective of this partnership was to improve the seniors’ functional autonomy and, by the same token, their quality of life.
Project submitted by Christian Dallaire, Physiotherapist, Clinical Coordinator
Other contributors to the project: Christian Dallaire, Physiotherapist, Clinical Coordinator, physiotherapy practicum supervisor; Mélanie Potvin, Physiotherapist, Physiotherapy Practicum Supervisor; Marilyne Gendron, Physiotherapist, Physiotherapy Practicum Supervisor; Joëlle Bouchard, Physiotherapy Technologist, Physiotherapy Technology Internship Supervisor; Geneviève Gervais-Cadrin, Practicum Placement Officer, UQAC Physiotherapy Teaching Unit; Georges-Étienne G.-Daigle, Placement Officer, Physiotherapy Technology at Cégep de Chicoutimi; Rubens Da Silva, Director, UQAC Physiotherapy Teaching Unit; Suzy Ngomo, Director, UQAC Department of Health Sciences; and Caroline Boily, Living Environment Manager, Centre d’hébergement des Pensées and Yannick Tourigny Internship Agent.