“I never imagined having such a hard time recruiting”: In the disability sector, an alarming shortage of staff

Par Nithya Paquiry

Posted today at 11:55 a.m.

On the walls of Maryline’s bedroom, self-adhesive butterflies sit alongside posters of singers Kendji Girac and Amir, and soft toys are displayed on the dressers. Photographs of animals and relatives also adorn the room, in the center of which stands a medical bed. There, in this space of about fifteen square meters, as in the adjoining bathroom, Maryline can move easily with her wheelchair. ” It’s my house ! “, launches the 54-year-old with graying bangs and big red glasses, suffering from cerebral palsy. For the past ten years, she has been living at the Medical Reception Center (FAM) Les Lilas, in Lormont (Gironde), in the Bordeaux suburbs.

Maryline Saleh has been living at the Lilas nursing home for ten years, in Lormont (Gironde). She decorated her room with posters of singers Amir and Kendji Girac.

When Maryline closes the door to her apartment, a yellow placard catches the eye. “I am very anxious”, announces a list of instructions for the staff who take care of the maintenance of their room. “It’s always difficult for me when it’s new people, I’m very scared”, can we read there. But now, since the start of the school year, ” new people “ continue to take care of the forty-eight adult residents suffering from motor and mental disorders in the home.

If the hospital is struggling to resume its activity in this return, despite the lull on the Covid-19 front, with closed beds and a shortage of nurses, many establishments responsible for disabled people also find themselves in difficulty. “A year ago, I would never have imagined being in this situation and having such a hard time recruiting”, says Julien Bernet, general manager of the Hapogys association, which manages the medicalized reception center, member of the Cerebral Palsy France network. The collapse is palpable: the nursing team and educators went, in less than a year, from 10 to 2 holders in charge of residents. The 8 vacant positions are filled, when they can, by temporary workers.

Difficulties in recruiting

“Normally, it’s at least one holder for four people, but now, that is no longer possible”, describes the department head, Carine Vachier, in charge of the teams. With hourly bearings, “It often happens that only one takes care of all 48 residents”, let go of the caregiver, after a weekend where she herself found herself in this extreme situation.

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Priscilla Laplanche, one of the 48 residents, in the airlock of the Lilas de Lormont nursing home (Gironde), on October 27, 2021.

“The conditions are not easy”, exclaims Priscilla Laplanche, who lives in the home ” since a long time “, without being able to remember with precision the date of arrival. “It is deteriorating more and more. Faced with substitutes, you have to explain each time, and I’m sick of it! “, hammers the young woman, before noticing: “And again, I manage to speak easily. “ In front of her, Maryline listens to her attentively. She is sorry: “We see the professionals leaving, those who stay do not have time. All of this stresses us out. “

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“I never imagined having such a hard time recruiting”: In the disability sector, an alarming shortage of staff