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Marguerite Blais at the “Tout le monde en parle” show

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Direction of Seniors Protection or DSP ?

The importance of certification


In Quebec, all private residences for seniors must be certified by the Department of Health and Social Services. The goal of this mandatory certification is to ensure a quality environment for the residents. We will first review the criteria for certification of compliance for private residences as well as the compliance to Accreditation Canada. In addition to these certifications, we suggest some mesures to improve the security in retirement homes that you can easily refer to during your visits in residence.

1. The Quebec Compliance Certification (MSSS)


According to the Government of Quebec, the certification of private residences for seniors recognizes the conformity of these residences according to operating standards and criteria found in the Regulation on the certification of private residences for seniors. The regulation addresses a number of themes that relate to the services offered, the obligations of the operators and the rights of the residents, and they vary according to the category and size of the residence.

Here are some examples of the certified residence responsibilities, according to the Government of Quebec:

Health and safety of residents:

  • A call system for help required.

  • A fire safety plan.

  • Emergency procedures, including when there is a death, an unexplained absence of a resident, extreme heat, as well as for the prevention of infections and the prevention of falls.

  • A procedure for medications prescribed to residents who receive dispensing or drug administration services.

  • An incident and accident register allowing the prevention of risky situations.

  • A minimum threshold of staff required at all times in the residence, according to the size and category of the residence to ensure the safety and quality of services.

  • Supervision measures for people with behavioral problems.

  • Standardized procedures for notifying relatives and the integrated health and social services center (CISSS) or the integrated university health and social services center (CIUSSS) of the territory in the event of a significant change in the person's state of health.

  • The establishment of a code of ethics specifying the expected behaviors of the staff and the operator.

  • Reception conditions for a person with cognitive disorders.

To verify the other requirements of the certification, we invite you to consult the Government of Quebec page, by clicking here.

2. Accreditation Canada

The accreditation is a process of ongoing evaluation of health and social service organizations of the standards of excellence to determine what is working well and what needs to be improved. This accreditation makes it possible to evaluate the quality of health care provided within the CISSS. For example, the criteria are: good care and service transition practices and safety (prevention, risk identification, safe delivery of care and testing services committees).

Warning ! Additional security is required...


Although the certification rules are adequate, this remains a minimum, it is better to check as many criteria as possible during your visits in retirement homes. Indeed, the addition of several other features makes it possible to avoid certain emergency situations. Here are some additional points to check out during your visits:

  • 24h supervision;

  • Permanent security;

  • Countdown / tour guard;

  • Emergency exercises and assessment of deficiencies;

  • Secure access;

  • Surveillance cameras with supervisors at their stations at all times;

  • Ongoing employee training on emergency prevention and response;

  • Emergency plan;

  • Sufficient staff on site to respond to emergencies or calls.

Also, another way to ensure security within the residence is to check if inspections are done on a regular basis. For example, checking the alarms pull station should be done on a regular basis. This goes into emergency prevention.

Towards a DYP for seniors?

If children are more vulnerable, the same goes for our seniors. Loss of autonomy, isolation, cognitive deficits, loss of mobility are all factors that make elders more at risk of abuse.


The question is now being raised; should we have a senior protection direction ? Thus named, the DYP would ensure the seniors protection, if their safety was to be compromised. There are already organizations in Quebec that support seniors, such as the Protecteur du citoyen and the Commission for Human Rights and Youth.

The TLMEP (Tout le monde en parle) show will invite this Sunday, January 27, 2019, Marguerite Blais, the Minister responsible for Elders and caregivers. With the past recent event, the Minister said she was ready to review the certification of residences to go further.


Ms. Blais does not believe that setting up a DYP is a good solution. According to her, seniors could feel "infantilized" and would be offended by its creation.

Rest homes for caregivers


Ms. Blais also plans to support the Maison Gilles-Carle foundation, rest homes for caregivers. A caregiver is someone who, on a voluntary basis and without pay, provide care and assistance to a loved one who has a disability.

These homes enable caregivers living with a person with a loss of autonomy to rest and heal. The rest homes’ mission is to support caregivers by providing services that will facilitate their daily lives.

Although most caregivers manage to cope with their responsibilities, this noble gesture of accompaniment can be a source of anxiety, anguish and fatigue, hence the importance of rest homes. According to Ms. Blais, the funding of rest homes is part of the concrete measures they want to implement across Quebec to support caregivers and offer them a better quality of life.

Searching for a retirement home ?

If you need an place in a retirement home, we invite you to fill in a online request on our website or Contact us for more information.

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