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SB27 – Share the Care – Passes Senate

Before Easter break, the Delaware Senate passed a bill that will help Delaware families who take care of elderly or infirm loved ones. The Senate voted 20-0 to pass the Share the Care Act, or SB27, sponsored by Sen. Jack Walsh, D-Stanton, and backed by the AARP.

SB 27 is specifically intended to help some of the 123,000 Delawareans who are caring for an elderly or ill family member at home – the vast majority of whom are also balancing full- or part-time jobs. Hiring a home health aide or other type of direct-care worker offers those family caregivers an affordable way to ensure their loved ones are receiving the medication and attention they need.

But under current Delaware law, those workers are prohibited from providing medicine – including eye drops and oxygen – to any client suffering from cognitive difficulties, such as the roughly 18,000 state residents struggling with Alzheimer’s.

The final version of the Share the Care Act would change those rules to allow direct-care workers to administer medications approved by the client’s family caregivers, with the exception of controlled substances. The bill also includes provisions that would provide direct-care workers with proper training from the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services.

“Caring for an aging or ill loved one can be incredibly difficult and stressful,” Sen. Walsh said. “This legislation removes barriers to make that situation a little easier and give families peace of mind that their loved ones can stay in the home longer and still receive the care they need.”

WHERE IS THE BILL?  Sent to the House for consideration.  Passed Senate 20-0-1.

DEMOCRATIC SPONSORS – Walsh, Baumbach, Hansen, Sokola, Sturgeon, Townsend, Brady, Chukwuocha, Dorsey Walker, Heffernan, Kowalko, Osienski, K.Williams

REPUBLICAN SPONSORS – Bonini, Cloutier, Delcollo, Hocker, Lawson, Lopez, Pettyjohn, Richardson, Wilson, Briggs King

YES VOTES – Bonini, Brown, Cloutier, Delcollo, Hansen, Hocker, Lawson, Lockman, Lopez, McBride, McDowell, Paradee, Pettyjohn, Poore, Richardson, Sokola, Sturgeon, Townsend, Walsh, Wilson



2 comments on “SB27 – Share the Care – Passes Senate

  1. My wife is in the advanced stage of dementia, I am her caregiver. Any, repeat any, help is more then welcomed.

  2. I am an RN and I think this is a terrible idea! There are so many LPNs and RNs (specifically associate degree prepared) that can not get jobs in hospitals because insurance companies they think they are less valuable. So where does that leave these nurses? Working in the prisons, mental health/substance abuse, home healthcare, and long-term nursing facilities, to name a few. Medicare has not increased their reimbursement rate for THIRTEEN YEARS in the home healthcare world. At the end of the day, who would you rather have caring for your loved ones? Joe Smoe who took a quick “certification” course about medications or paying our existing nurses MORE (so they can care for themselves and their families) to be able to care for your loved ones and administer medications? Personally, I’d want the highly trained HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL that has a degree and has had proper medication education administering the medication. Is Joe Smoe going to know how to take a blood pressure and use clinical judgement on when to give a blood pressure medication and when it should be held? The geriatric population have different adverse reactions to medications than a younger adult, will Joe Smoe be able to recognize that there is something wrong and possible toxicity? …a NURSE can and would all of those things… This bill is a bandaid, not a solution. Food for thought.

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