Quebec National Assembly officials open new CHSLD Val-des-Brises

Long-term care facility will take in up to 232 residents by autumn

Several elected members of the Quebec National Assembly from the Laval region managed to abandon partisan divisions momentarily on May 18 to gather just north of the city’s Duvernay district for the official opening of the new CHLSD Val-des-Brises long-term health care facility on Robert-Bourassa Boulevard.

Will be full by fall

Mille-Îles Liberal MNA Francine Charbonneau joined Sainte-Rose CAQ MNA Christopher Skeete, as well as Minister Responsible for Senior Citizens and Caregivers Marguerite Blais, and Minister Responsible for the Laval Region Benoit Charette, for a tour of the new and state-of-the-art facility.

CHSLD Val-des-Brises has welcomed more than 100 residents since early May and is expected to reach a capacity of 232 by this autumn.

Quebec Minister for Senior Citizens and Caregivers Marguerite Blais wields a shovel during the planting of a tree on May 18 outside the new CHLSD Val-des-Brises. (Photo: Martin C. Barry, Newsfirst Multimedia)

By and large, the residents will be those suffering from moderate to severe neurocognitive disorders, often associated with Alzheimer’s disease, although they may be caused by other medical conditions such as Parkinson’s and traumatic brain injury.

Feeling at home

The residence’s living units were designed in a manner so as to make those living in them feel truly as though they are at home. The building is divided into units, each with 11 residents, with a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Quebec Senior Citizens Minister Marguerite Blais, left, walks alongside Mille-Îles Liberal MNA Francine Charbonneau during the opening of the new CHSLD Val-des-Brises on May 18. (Photo: Martin C. Barry, Newsfirst Multimedia)

The presence of personal caregivers is being encouraged to promote relationships and to sustain the morale of residents. Following a tour of the CHLSD, employees and officials gathered on the lawn on Robert-Bourassa Blvd. to plant a sapling tree symbolizing the open spirit of the new facility.

Each room has its own bathroom and common areas, including a kitchen and dining rooms, which look and feel very much like what the average person might find in their own home. There are also several gardens on the exterior grounds and a pond where apparently fishing will be possible.

Will be leased 15 years

The building contractor, Montoni, managed to complete the project in time, in spite of the challenges over the past two years from the Covid pandemic. The CISSS de Laval is leasing (rather than owning) the facility from Montoni under terms of a PPP agreement over the next 15 years.

“The official opening of the new CHSLD Val-des-Brises in Laval will offer a quality lifestyle to its residents,” said Blais, who had been under fire for more than a year over shortcomings in the response to the Covid pandemic in the network of CHSLDs. (Still, Blais’ name only came up once in Quebec coroner Géhane Kamal’s recent report on the province’s slow response to the first wave of the pandemic in 2020.)

A winning combination

Common areas at the new CHSLD Val-des-Brises were designed to resemble the interior of a home as much as possible. (Photo: Martin C. Barry, Newsfirst Multimedia)

“They will be able to live in a secure environment that is adapted to their needs,” Blais added. “I am pleased to see that this project is promoting a clinical approach as well as elements resembling those found in seniors retirement homes.”

Charrette said he was pleased to see the new facility had been designed and built to offer its residents a welcoming, secure and warm environment.

“I would like to thank all the teams who combined their efforts to complete this magnificent project for the Laval region,” he said. “This will make a big difference for the persons living here and their caregivers.”

Mille-Îles MNA impressed

Charbonneau (a former Senior Citizens Minister under the Liberals) was especially impressed by the warmth and homelike atmosphere of the new facility.

She said the residents are sure to feel as though they are indeed in a place that is welcoming when soup is made in the kitchen area and the aroma reminds them of what home is really about.

“The coming together of this major project is in itself an important advancement for our community,” said Skeete. “This new and modern facility will contribute without any doubt to the well-being of our seniors, while seeing that they are in a place that is pleasant and better adapted to their needs. A project like this bears witness to the efforts which are made collectively to improve the quality of life of persons suffering from a loss of autonomy.”