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The assistance measure

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You anticipate that at some point the person you are caring for will have a greater need for protection than they do now. Plan ahead with the assistance measure.

Depending on their health condition, you foresee a possible incapacity. You want to show foresight, for both them and for you. You want something official, because it is difficult to plan for the unexpected.

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You are a caregiver. The person you are caring for is experiencing a loss of autonomy due to aging, a neurodegenerative disease, cancer, or a physical disability. You notice that this person’s vulnerability is increasing. For you, this means emotions, anxiety, pressure, even exhaustion.

The newest assistance measure, introduced in November 2022, may be of interest to you.

The Curateur public du Québec

The Curateur public du Québec manages the entire process and all steps related to the mandate of protection and the assistance measure. As such, it is the focal point for your detailed questions and your search for more information:

The Act changes in November 2022. It promotes the recognition of caregivers and better protection for people in vulnerable situations.

What is the assistance measure?

This measure is part of the changes related to the Law to better protect vulnerable persons.

The assistance measure is a program that:

  • is designed for any adult who wants help with a problem and is able to choose their own assistant;
  • designates you (or a significant person[s] for the person being helped) as an assistant;
  • is a non-judicial process. The court must agree. Therefore, the mandate cannot take effect until a judgment is rendered;
  • does not require a medical or psychosocial assessment;
  • allows the assistant to act only at the request of the person;
  • empowers the assistant to act as an intermediary for the assisted person, to advise the assisted person, to communicate with third parties to obtain or transmit information or to inform them of decisions made by the assisted person, to access the assisted person’s personal information only with their consent and if the information is relevant to assisting them;
  • does not give the assistant the authority to sign documents on behalf of the assisted person, make decisions for the assisted person, act in situations where there will be a conflict of interest, be paid for their assistance.

This measure is very interesting for caregivers:

  • The assistance measure is official recognition for assistants;
  • With the new assistance measure, an adult living with a difficulty who would like help from someone close to them in making decisions and managing their property will be able to obtain recognition for one or two assistants of their choice.
  • A significant difference from the mandate of protection is that there is no court intervention and no medical or psychosocial assessment required.

Mini lexicon of assistance measure terms

  • Assistant: close caregiver or family member who shows a special interest in the person who wishes to be assisted;
  • Assisted person: person for whom the assistant acts;
  • Public registry: each assistant will be registered, allowing them to act as an intermediary for the person being assisted with all agencies, departments and service companies;
  • A Law to better protect vulnerable persons: the new protection measure will be adapted to each situation and will promote the autonomy of these persons, while taking into account their wishes and preferences. It comes into effect in Novembre 2022 and“until then, nothing changes,” as the Curateur says.

Steps to benefit from it

Only one step is required.

There will be (November 2022) two ways to file an application for the recognition of an assistant:

  • Directly with the Curateur public. In this case, the person who wishes to be assisted can make the request online or by using a paper form, free of charge;
  • A lawyer or a certified notary will also be available, but fees will apply.

The Curateur public will make the final decision on whether to recognize an assistant.

The entire process is detailed point by point in a guide developed by the Curateur public du Québec: The assistance measure. Official recognition for assistants.

Impact on caregivers

As a caregiver, ask yourself the following:

  • What do you want?
  • Does this represent an important step for you and the person being helped?
  • Is it a relief for you?
  • Would it make your daily life as a caregiver easier?
  • Do you have the time to take the steps to become an assistant?
  • Would you be more comfortable with a protection mandate?
  • Do you need official recognition to help the person you are caring for? How do you feel about this official aspect?
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