Niagara Health says over 1,500 people have participated in Essential Care Partner program

CKTB - NEWS - St. Catharines hospital

Niagara Health is celebrating a milestone in a program allowing loved ones to advocate for and stay close to patients in the hospital.

Approximately 1,500 people have participated in the Essential Care Partner program since it began at the start of the year when visitor restrictions were in place at the hospitals.

Through the program, patients can designate up to two people to provide emotional, cognitive, and physical care as part of their overall health team.

Essential Care Partners can also help the medical teams by noticing changes in behaviour, helping with tasks like eating, and assisting in important decision-making processes.

People may be eligible to become an ECP if a loved one is admitted to an inpatient bed for longer than seven days or if they have preplanned surgery.