Did you know? It is not necessary to obtain an attestation of caregiver status to visit a loved one in his or her facility. Here are the details.
According to the Act to recognize and support informal caregivers (which became effective on October 28, 2020), a caregiver means:
“any person who continuously or occasionally provides significant support to a member of his or her immediate circle who has a temporary or permanent incapacity and with whom the person shares an emotional bond as a family member or otherwise. The support is provided on a non-professional basis, in an informal setting and regardless of the care receiver’s age or living environment or the nature of the incapacity, whether physical, mental, psychosocial or other. The support may take various forms, such as transportation, assistance with personal care and housekeeping, emotional support or the organization of care.”
If you fit this definition, you are a caregiver. It is therefore not a question of filling a form or receiving an attestation to prove your role of support for your loved one.
There is a form called “Attestation d’une personne agissant à titre de proche aidant.” It is made available to professionals working in the health and social services sector and is governed by the Professional Code to certify an employee’s caregiver status. It includes the relevant information so that this employee can take advantage of absences for caregivers provided for in the Act respecting labour standards. However, this form is not intended to certify the status of caregiver, nor to be used to request visitation rights or have access to the facility of a loved one. If you do not need this attestation for your work, we do not recommend requesting it.
To find out more about the guidelines for visiting rights for facilities in the context of COVID-19, we invite you to visit the page, “Informal and family caregivers and visitors to facilities during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.”
Nevertheless, it is possible that certain facilities (accommodation facilities, hospitals or care centres) require you to fill out a visit form. This is a protocol specific to each facility. The form is a procedure that varies from one establishment to another. Visitation, however, is an inherent right.
The number of new caregivers or visitors can be adjusted according to the reception capacity and the particular context of the facility (level of alert, number of infected cases or absent employees). It is therefore possible for several people playing the role of caregiver for a person to obtain visiting rights within the same facility.
By respecting the usual visiting arrangements and specific particularities of the facility, caregivers must generally be able to determine for themselves the duration, time and frequency of visits to the facility. Additionally, an arrival time may be allocated to caregivers in order to avoid as much as possible contact between caregivers and visitors. Sleepovers are allowed as long as they help support the person being assisted.
Both people living in a facility and caregivers have rights that must be respected, even for the red level. The rules set out are intended to limit the spread of the virus while preserving the physical autonomy and the psychological health of residents.
In the context of a health emergency, the directives issued by the Department of Health and Social Services (MSSS) and the national Director of Public Health have authority over any other directive. Consequently, facilities must respect them and cannot oppose such directives.
Under no circumstances should an attestation of caregiver status be requested from a person so that they can visit their loved one. Compliance with the designation of caregiver as defined in the Act is sufficient for you to be recognized as a caregiver, regardless of the facility.
Remember, Caregiver support is available to help you, guide you and listen to you. Do not hesitate to contact us by phone, at 1 855 852-7784, or by email.
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Contact our Caregiver Support Helpline for counselling, information et referrals.
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