Au Château needs your help!

Do you have some free time to come help our team of caregivers? As you read on, you will understand why we are putting out this urgent call…

In the early 1960s, this Home for seniors was constructed in answer to a growing need in our community for a long-term care residence for our families’ elders. There were many obstacles to overcome before the government finally consented to its construction, and those responsible for the project did not relent until they were assured it would come to fruition. Finally, a name had to be found for this “Home” that would house these vulnerable people, our community’s seniors. The board of directors of the day agreed on the name “Au Château”, as they felt this home should be a beautiful and welcoming “residence of choice” for its residents, who would see it as their very own “castle” (château).

Over the years, this remarkable institution has known great periods of growth and has also weathered difficult times, but nothing compares to the events of the past two years which have shaken the entire world, namely the terrible COVID-19 pandemic. This public health crisis has forever changed our way-of-life and the Home has had to adapt as best it could to this new reality.

In addition to this harsh reality and the uncertainty it has caused, we are also faced with a labour shortage affecting all businesses and all sectors of our economy. Sadly, the health and long-term care sectors have not been spared. The labour market is in full metamorphosis, largely due to a shrinking demographic of working-age people (15 to 64). From a demographic standpoint, our society has known an extraordinary “baby boom” in the years after WWII, followed by a sudden drop in birth rates. Now, as the “baby-boomers” retire, we are seeing a mass exodus of workers that the following generations are struggling to replace at the same rate, even with immigration.

Throughout the chain of employment, demand is increasing and more workers are needed to support continued growth. According to many experts, the demographic imbalance could see this situation last several more years before we regain stability.

Our “Château” is now shaken by this new reality; we are hard hit by this labour shortage which can be observed in all long-term care homes across Ontario. The current staff at our Home is doing all it can to preserve this pillar of our community, whose mission is to provide quality care to our seniors.

Faced with this mounting pressure, for the past several months, the employees and administration at our “Château” are working countless hours of overtime and investing all of their heart and energy to preserve this institution so vital to our seniors and to all people with long-term care needs. These workers are now vulnerable to physical exhaustion and professional burn-out, while still doing all they can to fulfill the demanding daily tasks of providing care and responding to the needs of all our residents.

How can we overcome these challenges? How do we respond in the face of such harsh realities? Some will say we should increase salaries, pay more overtime, increase the overtime pay rate… Unfortunately, all of this is still insufficient to fill our urgent labour needs. Can we hire more staff? Even if the Ministry were to approve more positions and provide more funding, the available pool of workers is insufficient to fill more positions and all of the homes are competing to recruit the few candidates available. It goes without saying that this labour shortage can have grave consequences on the health and resilience of an organization.

After much thought, the Home has no choice but to consider a new category of workers and to find innovative ways to survive in these trying times. We are convinced that the short-term solution can be found among you, the residents of this municipality, with people who want to join hands with our team to overcome the challenges.

In response to the labour shortage, the Home is calling out to all residents of our community who would like to work alongside our staff in order to preserve this vital institution. If the community rallies to come support our workers, our Home, our “Château” will have a better chance of weathering this storm and adapting with success to the new realities of the labour market.

What is involved exactly? A certain level of commitment: three to four hours per day, on any number of days per week, but especially at meal times and on weekends, would make a tremendous difference to make our operations run smoother. The Home intends to remunerate the efforts of those wishing to help, and will offer the necessary basic training.

A small commitment on your part would go a long way in making sure our seniors continue to receive quality care in their own community. We are calling on your compassion and your dedication to help us succeed in our mission. This endeavour is meant to be positive and aims to give hope to our workers and residents. Let’s stay “connected” to our seniors through an act of support and social solidarity. Unity in adversity has always proven to be a constructive force that brings out the best in people: presence, moral and social conscience and genuine commitment.

We often say that the past is an indication of what the future holds. Are you ready to share a bit of your time, today, for a good and noble cause, to become “everyday heroes” by joining hands to support our Home, our “Château”, in the accomplishment of its mission?

Thank you for your attention… Thank you for extending a helping hand… Thank you for answering the call…

If this cause speaks to you, we would be happy to welcome you aboard among our team!

Please contact Alain Taillefer, HR Manager, at 705-753-7111 or by email at