Essential Together Learning Bundles: Essential Care Partner Education

As part Essential Together, we have curated tools and resources from organizations across the country that support the reintegration of essential care partners.Essential care partners provide physical, psychological and emotional support, as deemed important by the patient. This care can include support in decision making, care coordination and continuity of care. Essential care partners are identified by the patient (or substitute decision maker) and can include family members, close friends or other caregivers.

This page is about supporting health and care facilitiesHealth and care facilities refers to hospitals, long-term care/residential care/nursing homes and other congregate care settings as well as primary care and outpatient care settings. to work with patientsPatients includes residents and clients. and patient partners Patient partners include patients, residents, clients, families, caregivers and care partners and others with lived experience who are working together with teams to improve the quality and safety of healthcare.to develop education for essential care partnersEssential care partners provide physical, psychological and emotional support, as deemed important by the patient. This care can include support in decision making, care coordination and continuity of care. Essential care partners are identified by the patient (or substitute decision maker) and can include family members, close friends or other caregivers. related to infection prevention and control practices. It is part of the policy guidance to identify and prepare essential care partners.

Supportive education for essential care partners related to infection control practices includes the provision and use of personal protective equipment when necessary, hand hygiene and organization/unit-specific protocols and processes. This education needs to be flexible and respond to the differing levels of health literacy, cultural and language needs of caregivers as well as differing risk profiles of patients. It should be offered in various formats and at various times/frequency. An effective education program will reduce fear for both staff and essential care partners and provide a balanced approach for the safe re-entry of essential care partners.

(From page 12 of Policy Guidance for the Reintegration of Caregivers as Essential Care Partners)

These resources provide examples of programs and materials for essential care partners to learn about personal protective equipment and infection prevention and control protocols as well as the specific organizational procedures. Some organizations provide in person training to essential care partners and others provide links to online training videos.

Organizations may consider giving essential care partners access to staff education modules on the use of personal protective equipment and infection prevention and control protocols. It may be helpful to provide short refresher videos at each visit and provide materials in a variety of formats.

Current resources 

These tools and resources are open source which means you can use and adapt them to fit your local context. We will continue to add to these learning bundles. If you would like to be notified when we have new material, please let us know.

Bruyère

Bruyère is an academic health centre with multiple sites including long-term care facilities in Ottawa, Ontario. Their Designated Carer Program welcomes essential care partners into their facilities. Essential care partners attend an in-person training session before entering the facilities.

Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de Laval (CISSS de Laval)

The CISSS de Laval has established procedures for its long-term care homes (CHSLDs) to admit caregivers who had been regularly providing support to meet a loved one’s needs with safety measures in place that comply with all infection prevention and control directives. The CISSS de Laval web page for caregivers includes a training video.

 

McGill University Health Centre

The MUHC in Montreal, Quebec has prepared a short video that reviews infection prevention and control measures that essential care partners watch at their first visit.

SafeCare BC

SafeCare BC is a not for profit organization aimed at creating support for those working in continuing care in British Columbia. Their online learning space includes a free course for essential care partners called COVID-19 Social Visitation Essentials with how to stay safe while in healthcare facilities.

The Ottawa Hospital

The Ottawa Hospital is a learning and research hospital in Ontario and affiliated with the University of Ottawa. The Ottawa Hospital has created online training materials for essential care partners.

 

We know there is different language and terminology used across the country. But to make sure we provide as much clarity as possible, in this context:

Essential care partners provide physical, psychological and emotional support, as deemed important by the patient. This care can include support in decision making, care coordination and continuity of care. Essential care partners are identified by the patient (or substitute decision maker) and can include family members, close friends or other caregivers.

Family may include relatives and non-relatives and is defined by the patient.

Health and care facilities refers to hospitals, long-term care/residential care/nursing homes and other congregate care settings as well as primary care and outpatient care settings.

Patient partners include patients, residents, clients, families, caregivers and care partners and others with lived experience who are working together with teams to improve the quality and safety of healthcare.

Patients includes residents and clients.