Essential Care Partner (ECP)
Patients at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare (HDGH) have the option of choosing an Essential Care Partner to assist them during their time at the hospital.
What are Essential Care Partners?
An Essential Care Partner (ECP) is someone who has a close and trustworthy relationship with the patient and is actively involved in the patient’s day-to-day care, care planning and decision making. ECPs are familiar and know their loved one very well. They will notice subtle changes in the patient’s appearance, mood or how they are feeling in general. This knowledge and insight is a valuable support to the patient and their health care team. An ECP can be a family member, friend or neighbour who provides physical and emotional support to a loved one for a variety of circumstances.
How can an ECP support a loved one?
ECPs can provide different types of support that can help improve their loved ones health. With direction from the patient or substitute decision maker, an ECP may provide:
- Emotional and social support, along with companionship
- Reality orientation, personal connection, memory support and communication assistance for patients who have cognitive impairment
- Assistance with personal care such as bathing, using the bathroom and other personal hygiene
- Help with eating and moving around
- Assistance with care planning and decision making
- Medical treatments such as tube feedings and some wound care
- Assistance with scheduling and coordinating appointments
- Transportation assistance
- Support for financial decisions
- Support for discharge planning discussions
How Do I Become an ECP?
Patients or substitute decision-makers can choose if they would like to designate someone as their Essential Care Partner. This could include a relative, loved one, friend or other support person of the patient’s choosing who is at least 18 years of age or older.
Upon admission, the patient’s care team will share information about becoming an ECP. If there is interest in becoming an ECP, please contact your unit’s Manager and specialized training to assist with the patient’s care needs will be arranged.
To learn more about ECPs at HDGH, view the ECP Guide.
For full details on HDGH’s current Visitation Policy, please visit www.hdgh.org/patientvisitation.
Phone: 519-257-5111 ext. 74404
Frequently Asked Questions
If I become an ECP, 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 recommend that you support the
patient for a minimum of 5 hours each week. You will come in according to your
availability and patient needs.
Hear from a few of our past ECPs and their experience at HDGH.
*Note that the ECP program was formerly called the Designated Care Partner (DCP) program, the program is referred as such in the following videos.