Family Presence in Health Care

Partnering with patients and families is important to the overall well-being and recovery of a patient. Patients and families are encouraged to become partners in care and to be active participants in their health care.

When can I visit a patient?

Due to physical distancing guidelines to minimize the spread of COVID-19, health PEI facilities have protocols in place to support visitation, if possible.

Partner in Care

A partner in care is a person whom the patient identifies and designates as a partner in care.

Partners in care are an important support to be included when the patient interacts with the health care system and may include immediate and extended family, friends and/or caregivers. As a partner in care, they may support feeding, mobility, personal hygiene, cognitive stimulation, communication, meaningful connections, relational continuity and assistance in decision-making. They may touch the patient or resident as part of their duties.

Health PEI aims to welcome partners in care 24 hours a day according to patient preference and in coordination with the health care team. Partners in care are not required to schedule a visit; Partners in care are encouraged to inform the facility of when they plan to visit. At certain times, there may be interruptions to family presence to protect the privacy rights of other patients or to maintain safety, security or clinical requirements. 


A visitor is a person visiting who is not a designated partner in care, who is present primarily for social or other supportive reasons. This person may include family members, friends, community spiritual/religious leaders and care providers. 

Visitors are asked to call the front desk or switchboard, or to check with a health care provider before visiting a patient.

Some facilities may still have a rest period or quiet hours. Quiet hours enhance care by providing patients with a dedicated time to rest and get well. There may be occasions causing a slight delay to the Visitor having access to the patient (for the privacy of the patient or patients in the same room). To ensure safety, consideration will be given to the physical limitations of the space available on the unit and in the patient room. 

How many people are allowed at the bedside?

The number of people welcomed at the bedside at any one time will be determined in collaboration with the patient, family, partners in care, health care team and other patients. If you have a large family, please designate one partner in care who will be contacted for updates and relay information to other partners in care, family and visitors.

Are children able to visit?

Children are welcomed as family members and their presence is supported based on the preference of the patient and the health care team. Children must be supervised by an adult other than the patient or health care team member.

What if I am sick?

It is expected that family/partners in care and/or visitors remain at home if they are showing signs or symptoms of infectious illness.

How can I help reduce the spread of germs?

Wash your hands or use the alcohol-based hand rub provided when you enter and leave the patient room and patient care area to reduce the spread of germs. Isolation precautions and other infection control guidelines posted on the patient’s door must be strictly followed. Check with a care provider if you are unsure or need any assistance with infection control precautions.

Can I bring food, drink or flowers to a patient?

Check with the patient’s health care provider before bringing gifts of food, drink or flowers.

Is the facility scent-free?

Yes, Health PEI facilities are scent-free. Refrain from wearing scented products and do not provide highly scented flowers to patients or staff.

Can I smoke or vape at the facility?

Smoking/vaping is prohibited in the facility and on facility grounds.

Published date: 
October 28, 2022
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General Inquiries

Health PEI
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-6130
Fax: 902-368-6136

Your Health Privacy

Media Inquiries
Phone: 902-368-6135

Health PEI Board of Directors

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency department.

If you are unsure what to do about a health issue or if you need health information, call 8-1-1.

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