Aides could perform nursing duties in assisted living

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New York
New York

Some assisted living communities in New York would be able to use home health aides to perform some nursing tasks under legislation that soon will be sent Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his signature.

The state Assembly and Senate passed Assembly Bill 10707/Senate Bill 8110 on June 16. The measure would create a certification for advanced home care aides who could perform an expanded range of tasks, such as assisting with the administration of routine, pre-poured medications. Assisted living communities in New York that are licensed as enhanced assisted living residences would be able to use such home health aides to carry out these nursing tasks.

Current law generally limits the provision of nursing care to licensed nurses.

“Our senior living provider members advocated strongly for this legislation in concert with a coalition of consumers, other providers and education and training experts,” said Ginger Lynch Landy, co-director of Argentum NY. Organizations such as AARP-NY and the Coalition of NYS Alzheimer's Chapters were involved with the effort. “Our common goal was to expand access to high-quality, safe, health-related tasks to New Yorkers living in the community,” Landy said.

Most provisions in the bill would take effect 18 months after enactment and would be repealed March 31, 2023, unless extended.

Other states recently have expanded or are considering expanding permissions related to the provision of care in assisted living. A Tennessee law that became effective Jan. 1, for instance, allows medication aides working in assisted living communities and other settings to administer controlled substances. And Massachusetts lawmakers are considering a bill that would permit nurses who work in assisted living communities to provide limited healthcare services.

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