If the vulnerable person is still living at home, the best thing to do is contact their CLSC. If the person lives in a care facility or is hospitalized, the attending physician and one of the institution’s professionals will conduct the two assessments, and the director general will submit a report to the Curateur public.
Taking these measures is a serious matter involving a rigorous process defined by the Civil Code of Québec. This is because these measures can have far-reaching consequences for a person’s rights. A protected person is no longer allowed to accomplish certain acts on their own and is prohibited from accomplishing others, if they are under curatorship.
A safeguard against abuse
Since 1990, the opening of protective supervision has been a legal process, like homologation of a mandate. Among others, the process guarantees that a person unable to look after themselves or manage their property is not deprived of their rights or financially abused. Because:
Medical and psychosocial assessments are always the starting point for an application to place a frail individual or accident victim under protection.
This is conducted by a physician and focuses on the person’s state of health. It determines the degree of incapacity.
A professional working in the health network or working in private practice is asked to conduct this assessment (usually a social worker). It gauges the person’s autonomy and determines their need for protection. The assessment takes into consideration various ways of meeting the person’s needs without using protective supervision. Having the person cared for by relatives and friends is always the preferred solution, because they are in the best position to take on this role. Placing the person under the care of the Curateur public is a last resort.
An incapacitated person may contest the application for opening of their protective supervision or homologation of their mandate, and the related assessments or recommendations. During the proceedings, the court gives the person the chance to express their opinion about the protection measure and the individual responsible for implementing it.