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Care Partners

Partnership with patients is an important part of the CMH and Planetree philosophy of person-centered care. The care partner program is one of many things that helps us ensure each patient’s needs and preferences are met.

The care partner acts as a member of the care team to assist with care activities, conversations and a smooth transition to home or other facilities. Research shows that when family and friends are present and engaged in care activities and conversations, patients experience better outcomes.

The goals of our program are:

  • To enhance the involvement of family and friends in the hospital experience.
  • To provide the opportunity for family and friends to participate in patient care activities, conversations with the care team, patient education, and physical, psychosocial and spiritual support of patients.

The process:

  • Upon patients’ admission, if patient chooses, they will pick a family member or friend to be their care partner.
  • A nurse will orient the care partner to their role and amenities.
  • A nurse will document the care partner on the patient’s whiteboard in the room and within our Electronic Medical Record.
  • The care partner will be given a badge to wear that will identify them as a patient's care partner. This badge will give them access to café food and room service, free of charge.

Care partner amenities:

Care partners have access to integrative therapies for themselves, including:

  • Massage
  • Pet therapy
  • Aromatherapy
  • Sound bath
  • Reiki
  • Chaplain services
  • Free meals via room service
    • The care partner's badge must be worn.
    • Only the care partner may access free meals. All other visitors may purchase food in the café.
    • The care partner will have access to a nutrition room that holds drinks, snacks, an ice machine and water.

Care partner role and activities:


  • Serve as family spokesperson to keep others updated on loved one’s progress
  • Liaise with physicians for questions/updates
  • Manage visitors/protect patient’s sleep

Care coordination

  • Keeping patient records and documents safe and organized
  • Maintain patient's personal medication list
  • Make follow-up appointments

Manage comfort

  • Assist with changing bedding
  • Adjust surroundings for patient’s comfort (e.g., adjust room temperature, get extra blankets, close blinds, etc.)
  • Assist with positioning
  • Non-pharmaceutical pain management

Meeting daily needs

  • Assist with menu selection
  • Assist with feeding, as appropriate
  • Provide assistance with walking, as appropriate
  • Escort the patient on short wheelchair trips, as appropriate

Patient care activities

*As appropriate and in preparation for at-home care when discharged

  • Assist nursing staff in routine patient care activities
  • Receive education on patient care activities
  • Assist with wound care and simple dressing changes
  • Monitor fluids by recording oral intake/urine output
  • Assist with giving oral medication

Patient education/information support

  • Support the patient in understanding their illness/condition
  • Participate in discharge education

Patient safety monitoring

  • Alert nursing staff if an alarming change in the patient is noticed (e.g., change in speech; slowed or stopped breathing; increased sleepiness; lack of response; choking; or decreased mobility)
  • Educate visitors on proper hand hygiene
  • Alert staff to any quality or safety concerns

Personal care/grooming

  • Assist with bathing
  • Provide back rubs
  • Nail care
  • Hair brushing/shaving

Prepare for transition of care

  • Manage filling of prescriptions
  • Accompany patient to therapies
  • Arrange for transportation out of hospital
  • Prepare home environment for patient’s return
  • Learn skills to prepare for home care

Social support and companionship

  • Offer support and encouragement
  • Read books and magazines
  • Assist with phone calls
  • Bring in food from home, as appropriate
  • Pray with the patient
  • Connect patient with spiritual support