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From Alberta to Quebec: Helping in Long Term Care facilities

By Shelly Makrugin / Photo courtesy of Claudine St-Jean
 
At the request of provincial governments, and with funding from the Government of Canada, Canadian Red Cross is assisting in long-term care homes in Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba.

When Claudine St-Jean saw the posting for people who could assist in Quebec long-term care facilities, she knew immediately she had to put her name forward.
 
“I had recently lost two family members to COVID-19 in Quebec,” Claudine explained. “I felt a profound desire to get involved and knew I had the skills they were looking for to help in long-term care facilities.”
 
Claudine pictured in a maskClaudine lives and works in Calgary, Alberta, as manager of Major Gifts for the Philanthropy section at Red Cross. Her deployment as a risk advisor took her to Montreal for five weeks. She consulted daily with the Red Cross Global Health Unit, a team of medical experts who are experienced in responding to emergencies around the world including Ebola and cholera outbreaks, to assess and assist up to nine long-term care facilities.
 
Claudine says she was impressed by the positive, supportive attitude and level of patience of everyone on the team given the long hours and increased risk due to COVID-19.
 
“I learned that it does indeed take a village to help curve a pandemic. I have an immense amount of gratitude for the Red Cross, its staff and volunteers and all those on the front lines who are working tirelessly to help.”
 
Red Cross is working in support of local authorities and public health officials, as well as management and personnel at long-term care facilities, to meet urgent needs and provide comfort and care to residents.
 
This was a new experience for Claudine, but one she appreciates. “When new opportunities present themselves, embrace them even if they seem a bit scary at first,” Claudine says. “It may not be easy, and may require a lot of work, but the rewards are immense.”
 
Claudine encourages Canadians to consider joining the Red Cross, our new humanitarian work force or supporting the humanitarian effort in any way you can.
 
“Let’s be kind to one another during the colder months ahead. Reach out to your elders and loved ones and share your gift of conversation. And please continue to follow healthcare recommendations to help reduce our risk and keep us safe. Our collective efforts do save lives.”
 
The Canadian Red Cross is recruiting a humanitarian work force for the COVID-19 pandemic response. We have volunteer and paid positions. You can find more information here.

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