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Essential Together Learning Bundles: Regular Updates

As part Essential Together, we have curated tools and resources from organizations across the country that support the reintegration of essential care partners.

This page is about supporting organizations to work with patients and patient partners to ensure essential care partners are informed about existing and updated infection prevention and control protocols. It is part of the policy guidance to support essential care partners as they enter health and care facilities.

Connecting essential care partners with a staff point-person as they enter a facility provides an opportunity for essential care partners to receive updates on relevant infection control and prevention practices and ask questions or clarify details on protocols. This additional touchpoint contributes to ensuring safety protocols are understood and applied.

(From page 15 of Policy Guidance for the Reintegration of Caregivers as Essential Care Partners)

These resources provide examples of making sure essential care partners have updated information they need in their role as essential care partner.

Current resources

The tools and resources are open source, which means you can use and adapt them to fit your local context. We will continue to add to these learning bundles. If you would like to be notified when we have new material, please let us know.

Alberta Health Services

Alberta Health Services is a province-wide health system. Their COVID-19 task force creates communication and resources to support the entire system, which covers multiple settings and patient groups. Their website is updated frequently and the date of update is noted clearly on the page.


Baycrest is a hospital and long-term care facility for older adults in Toronto, Ontario. Their detailed appeals process is explained on their website. They have a webpage with up to date information and people can subscribe to be kept up to date via email.

CIUSSS de l'Est-de-l'Île-de-Montréal

The CIUSSS de l'Est-de-l'Île-de-Montréal has several hospitals and CHSLDs. The CHSLDs have Facebook pages to keep families updated

CISSS Chaudière-Appalaches

The Centre intégré de santé et des services sociaux de la Chaudière-Appalaches has a range of ways available to keep essential care partners up-to-date including regular check ins from a dedicated staff member at the CHSLD.

Loch Lomond Villa

Loch Lomond Villa is a long-term care home in New Brunswick with a program supporting and welcoming essential care partners. They communicate about any changes to the program through notices to all their clients.

If you know of other tools and resources to contribute to these learning bundles, or if there is something specific you are after, please send us an email via


We know there is different language and terminology used across the country, but to make sure we provide as much clarity as possible, in this context:

Blanket visitor restrictions refer to restrictions that extend to all “visitors” entering a facility, often without exceptions, including essential care partners.

Essential care partners provide physical, psychological and emotional support, as deemed important by the patient. This care can include support in decision making, care coordination and continuity of care. Essential care partners are identified by the patient (or substitute decision maker) and can include family members, close friends or other caregivers.

Patients includes residents and clients.

Patient partners include patients, residents, clients, families, caregivers and care partners, and others with lived experience who are working together with teams to improve the quality and safety of healthcare.

Health and care facilities refers to hospitals, long-term care/residential care/nursing homes and other congregate care settings as well as primary care and outpatient care settings.

Open family presence policies support the presence of essential care partners at patient bedside at any time and not restricted by “visiting hours.”