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If you have a friend or family member in long term care, supportive living, or in a group home, they may ask you to be part of their care team. You know a lot of important information about your friend or family member, and they may want you to share this information to help the staff care for and support them.
Privacy and consent are complex subjects. There is a balance between your friend or family member’s right to privacy and their need for your support. If you have questions, talk to the healthcare team.
Sometimes, your friend or family member may have a change in their medical condition or health needs.
If this happens, and if they have asked you to be involved in their care, you can still support them by:
Your friend or family member might be able to stay at their care site while they are getting medical tests or treatments for their new or changing medical condition.
By staying at their care site, your friend or family member is with staff who know them, their needs, and their preferences well. They are also able to stay in a familiar environment with people they know at a time when they are feeling unwell.
If the care site team decides that your friend or family member needs to go to an emergency department, and if your friend or family member have asked you to be involved in their care, you can still play a vital role in their journey and care.
In most situations, you can go to the emergency department with them and share with the staff important things like:
There are certain situations, like outbreaks, where you may not be able to visit or may be required to leave the room. Talk to the healthcare team to learn more.
During the transfer, the care site team will share important personal and medical information with the emergency department team. But with your friend or family member’s consent, you still play an important role in making sure that the healthcare team in the emergency department has all the information that they need. Let them know who normally cares for your friend or family member at the care site, how to contact them, and what type of care your friend or family member normally gets. If the emergency department can get all of the information they need, your friend or family member’s stay may be shorter.
Ask the emergency department staff to let you know about your friend or family member’s condition and progress and be part of the discussion about when your friend or family member might be able to return to their home (the care site).
Learn more about preparing a friend or family member to go to the emergency department.
To hear a story about supporting a friend or family member in care when their health needs changed, watch Enter the Chaos – Wayne’s Story (video).
To see this information online and learn more, visit https://MyHealth.Alberta.ca/health/aftercareinformation/pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=custom.ab_health_changes_incare_adults_inst.
For 24/7 nurse advice and general health information call Health Link at 811.
Current as of: February 17, 2023
Author: Provincial Seniors Health and Continuing Care, Alberta Health Services
This material is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional. This material is intended for general information only and is provided on an "as is", "where is" basis. Although reasonable efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the information, Alberta Health Services does not make any representation or warranty, express, implied or statutory, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, applicability or fitness for a particular purpose of such information. Alberta Health Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of these materials, and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.