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
NO VOTES – None
ABSENT – Ennis