Designated Care Partner (DCP)
What are Designated Care Partners?
A Designated Care Partner (DCP) is a family member chosen by the patient and is committed to supporting the patient due to ill health, chronic illness, and/or disability. Family is defined by the patient (relative or close friend) Designated Care Partners (DCPs) are trusted and valued members of the care team. Designated Care Partners are considered an important part of the care team
and can always enter our campus – including during a pandemic, reducing the potential negative effects of social isolation.
How Do I Become a DCP?
Patients or substitute decision makers will choose who they would like to designate as their Designated Care Partner. This can include a relative, loved one, friend or other support person of the patient’s choosing.
Designated Care Partners must be 18 years of age and older and committed to acting in the role for a minimum of 5 hours per week.
Designated Care Partners are required to complete an orientation session prior to beginning their role.
Upon admission, the patient’s care team will ask the patient who they choose as their DCP. If the chosen person agrees to the role, they will attend a 90-minute orientation that reviews DCP roles, responsibilities, opportunities, and infection, prevention, and control procedures.
If you have been chosen as a DCP, please contact Lisa DePutter at 519-257-5114, to schedule an orientation
Once the DCP has completed an orientation, they can enter the hospital from 10:30 am – 6:30 pm, 7 days a week. A DCP has the flexibility of staying for up to 8 hours each day and can come and go freely, according to their availability and patient support needs.
What is the difference between a Designated Care Partner and a Registered Visitor?
A Designated Care Partner (DCP) is more involved in the day-to-day care and support of the patient. DCPs:
- Provide companionship and emotional support to their loved one
- Are the primary advocate for people who have significant cognitive impairment as with:
- Dementia, stroke, brain injury
- Intellectual or developmental disability
- Supporters who enhance patient care. Examples of support (but not limited to):
- Assistance with meals
- Assistance with mobility
- Communication assistance
- Personal care
- Providing updates and communicating with other family and friends
- DCPs support patients for decision making events such as discharge planning
A Registered Visitor offers a social visit. Choosing between one of two time slots, a registered visitor can visit one time per day.
Frequently Asked Questions
If I become a DCP, will I be asked to take the place of a nurse?
The answer is simply, “no”. You will not be asked to take the place of a clinical team member. Your role is to enhance patient care with companionship, supporting the patient during care planning and providing encouragement to the patient during mealtime or coaching through mobility exercises. You will also learn about the patient’s support needs once out of hospital.
Do I have to come every day?
We ask that you support the patient for a minimum of 5 hours each week. You will come in according to your availability and patient needs.
Why do I have to attend a class?
The DCP orientation was designed primarily to ensure the safety and well-being of patients, DCPs and staff. DCP roles and responsibilities, boundaries and opportunities and proper infection prevention and control practice are covered.
Can the patient have more than one DCP?
At this time, one DCP per patient is approved. A registered visitor can be added for more social support. Occasionally there are unique situations. Please feel free to discuss your situation with the Unit Manager or Patient Advocate for guidance.