A mother’s appeal to CISSSO Personal costs high for closure of Pavillon du Parc

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Allyson Beauregard

During a visit to Shawville in December, Brenda Godin, who lives in Temiscaming, received the shock of a lifetime at a local restaurant when someone asked her how her daughter — who resides at the Thompson residence (Shawville Pavillon du Parc) – was doing and her reaction to the news of the residence’s possible closure. 

Allyson Beauregard

During a visit to Shawville in December, Brenda Godin, who lives in Temiscaming, received the shock of a lifetime at a local restaurant when someone asked her how her daughter — who resides at the Thompson residence (Shawville Pavillon du Parc) – was doing and her reaction to the news of the residence’s possible closure. 
“I had no idea about all of this, up until that point,” said Godin, whose search for clarification began first with the employees at the Pavillon. “They didn’t know much, and told me to read the local newspapers,” she reported.
Godin’s attempts to phone those who might shed some information on her daughter’s situation and the Pavillon’s move didn’t work because of the Christmas holidays. “I went through the holidays worried, not knowing what was going to happen to my daughter,” she told the Journal.
Godin finally reached Jean Dansereau, CISSSO Program Coordinator, when he returned to work the
second week of January, but even he was unable to confirm whether the Thompson Residence would be closing or not and what would
happen to the residents.
Pontiac’s MNA, Andre Fortin, explained the province’s continued-living residences are undergoing a transformation “to better adapt their services to the needs of clientele”. But he too could not confirm the future of the Thompson
residence, which he said depends on the results of the assessments the CISSS is conducting with each continued-living resident across the province. Godin does not know when her daughter’s assessment will take place, or even if it already has. 
According to Dansereau, the Thompson residence will cease to exist as a Pavillon du Parc sometime between August and December 2017, and could become a continued-living residence managed through a community organization. The CISSS will oversee and supervise its operation, but will not be directly involved in it’s management. “The people living there right now need more specialized care. We don’t have these services locally, so we are suggesting they be moved to Gatineau,” he said, noting the residence’s workers will be employed elsewhere in the local health care system.
The uncertainty, and the fear of her daughter being uprooted from the only home she has had since she was 18 years old, has been taking its toll on Godin’s well-being: “I’m still out in the clouds on the issue. It’s been very emotionally hard. I’ve had a hard time sleeping, and  I think about it all the time. I don’t want my daughter moved from her home,” insisted Godin, who submitted the following letter for publication:

A cry from the heart
of a worried mother

I am the mother of Angele Pieschke. When she was born, Angele was diagnosed with Microcephaly. Her brain was not properly developed, which caused  an intellectual deficiency that requires professional care for her entire life.
Since December 23, 2016, I have been waiting to find out if the Thompson Residence (Shawville) will be closing or not. I’ve been told Angele could be relocated to the city to a ‘RAC’ (a temporary residence during her rehabilitation) and later transferred to a ‘RNI’ (a residence or foster family). Even the employees don’t know if and where they will be relocated during this new ‘urban vision’ restructuring. They just wait, without saying anything, because they fear losing their jobs.
Our children are not animals having their cages changed, and they are not numbers. Enough is enough!
We have a hospital that can provide the necessary services. We are not incompetent: give them some tools and have specialists visit the hospital so we can offer adequate services right in Shawville. Why do patients have to travel to the city?
I want my daughter to remain at the residence where she has lived since she was 18 years old (she is now 33). The people who live and work there are her family. It’s her home, her routine, her environment. She is known and loved by the
people who have cared for her since her childhood.
Angele can attend appointments for rehabilitation in the city; the area offers adapted transportation. Why do we need to move services, employees, and jobs to the city?
Mr Dansereau, I ask you to keep this residence open to foster stability and to maintain the every day routines of the residents.
Brenda Godin
TEMISCAMING