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Better together

An approach promoting loved ones to participate in caregiving at the hospital

The Canadian Foundation for healthcare improvement (CFHI) promotes the Better together approach in Canada, encouraging the inclusion of healthcare users and their loved ones as partners in care for a better recovery of the hospitalized patient.

From visitor to companion

At the CISSS de l’Outaouais, when a person arrives at the hospital, we present him or her the Better together approach. It is this person who decides if she desires to identify a companion among her loved ones to accompany her during hospitalization. If the response is yes, the companion has to confirm his willingness to play this role, which has numerous dimensions:  

Be a facilitator

  • Exchange information about the user with the health care team.
  • Share news about the user’s health with family and friends

Be watchful

  • Watch for signs and symptoms indicating a change in the user’s condition.
  • Make sure the treatment plan is being followed. For example: diet, breathing exercises, etc.

Be involved

  • Make sure the user is comfortable.
  • Help with hygiene and mobility. For example: giving a bath and helping to walk.
  • Participate in the planning of the user’s care.
  • Learn and practice how to change dressings, under the supervision of the health care team.

A beneficial partnership

It has been proven that there are some benefits to this partnership during and after hospitalization. Here are some examples:

  • It has a positive effect on the user’s cognitive and motor functions.
  • It helps diminish medication errors and decreases the risk of falls.
  • It helps plan the necessary care and services following discharge.
  • It ensures better follow-up on post-hospitalization instructions.

Visiting hours at the hospital

Visiting hours are from 8 am to 8 pm.
See restrictions that may apply on certain health care units.

As a companion, you may stay with your loved one outside visiting hours, if:

  • the head of the health care unit allows you to be there
  • the user wants you to be there
  • your presence benefits the user’s health and well-being