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Care Partners
Care Partners

Who is a care partner?
A Care Partner is a support person whose presence is considered essential to the safety and well-being of a patient while they are in the hospital. Most often, they are family or close friends of the patient who typically know the patient’s health history, lifestyle and personal values.

How is a Care Partner different from a visitor?
Visitors are people who come to the hospital to have a social visit with a patient. 

A Care Partner is chosen by the patient or their Substitute Decision Maker (SDM). A Care Partner provides essential care and support to the patient while they are in the hospital.

What can a Care Partner do?
There are many ways a Care Partner can help their family member/friend. Some examples could include:
  * helping them eat, move around, bathe
  * helping them communicate with staff
  * providing emotional and cognitive support
  * advocating for them and supporting their decision making
  * Being part of planning their care while in the hospital and once they are discharged

Is a Care Partner permitted in all cases?
As much as possible, every patient who wants a Care Partner should have access to one. However, there are certain instances and areas where Care Partners may not be permitted for safety reasons.

As a patient, how can I request a Care Partner?
Patients can request a Care Partner before or after being admitted to the hospital. Please let your health-care team know you would like one and they can tell you the next steps.

Is there special training?
Yes, click here to complete the online educational module.
Care Partner Educational Module

Use technology when possible to connect with a family member/friend.
Technologies like Zoom or Facetime can be safe and effective ways for Care Partners to provide cognitive and emotional support to their family member/friend. Care Partners should talk to the care team about setting up a virtual visit.

How can I make in-person visits as safe as possible?
Care Partners who come to the hospital in person should
  * plan each visit carefully, keeping safety in mind
  * review the training you receive before coming in
  * perform multiple tasks in one visit


A Care Partner is a support person, chosen by the patient, whose presence is considered essential to the safety and well-being of the patient while they are in the hospital. Often, they are family or close friends, who may know the patient’s health history, lifestyle and personal values. During full visitor restrictions, only patients and Care Partners can enter the hospital; there is no access for members of the public.

Germs are tiny organisms that live in the environment; other common terms include bugs, microorganisms, viruses, and bacteria. They are too small to be seen by our eyes. Some are good and help our bodies and others are bad and can cause sickness. Bad germs can get into our bodies through our eyes, nose, mouth or an open sore on our bodies. Examples of germs include:
  * The flu
  * COVID-19 
  * E.coli

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is clothing or equipment designed to protect your body from injury or infection. At the hospital, PPE can include a gown, gloves, mask, goggles, or face shield.  It is very important to protect your eyes, nose and mouth as this is how germs enter the body.

Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) is a term used to describe the actions to prevent the spread of germs.  The short version is IPAC (pronounced EYE-pack).  You may hear this term while in the hospital. Physical distancing, screening people for illness, disinfecting objects, wearing masks, and limiting close social contacts are some examples of IPAC.

How is COVID-19 spread?
The COVID-19 virus is spread easily among people.  People may be spreading it and not be aware of it. COVID-19 is spread from the mouth or nose in little droplets. When someone infected with COVID-19 sneezes, coughs, or touches their nose, mouth or eyes and then touches something else, they may be spreading it.

How to reduce the spread of COVID-19
Cleaning your hands often and properly is one of the best ways to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

How to wash your hands with soap and water:
  * Wet your hands under running water.
  * Apply soap to your wet hands.
  * Rub your hands together for 15 to 20 seconds to create lots of bubbles all over your hands.
  * Rinse your hands under running water.
  * Dry your hands.

How to clean your hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizer:
  * Apply hand sanitizer about the size of a quarter to your dry palm 
  * Rub your hands together for 15 to 20 seconds until the rub is dry.  Make sure the rub touches all areas of
     both hands (palms, back of hands, between fingers and thumbs)

Make sure you wash your hands with alcohol-based hand rub before you enter the patient’s room and after you leave the patient’s room.

Wearing a mask and eye protection/face shield is another way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Everyone at Waypoint must always wear a mask and and in some cases, eye protection/face shield. The mask must cover your mouth and nose completely. Wash your hands before you put on a mask and eye protection/face shield again before you take it off.  Do not pull the mask under your chin or let it hang off one ear. 

There may be times in the hospital where you are required to wear extra PPE. This could include a gown, face visor and gloves. The hospital will provide these items to you.  A health-care provider will show you how to take it off safely. Talk to a member of your family member/friend’s care team before putting on extra PPE.

In exceptional circumstances when there is an outbreak or other health and safety concern, it may be necessary to restrict Care Partner visits.

IMPORTANT: In person visits pose a greater risk. We must all work together to ensure the safety of all patients, staff and Care Partners. Care Partners can help everyone at the hospital stay safe by:
  * choosing virtual visits when possible to reduce in-person visits 
  * visiting in-person only for essential reasons at key points in care, keeping your visits short and
     performing several tasks at each visit 

  * completing the infection safety education and following all Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC)

  * being open to guidance regarding infection prevention from staff on the unit or members of your family
     member/friend’s health-care team

  * leaving the hospital promptly to minimize the number of people in the hospital at one time.