New York State Adopts Law For Advanced Home Health Aides

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In-home care is becoming more popular here in the United States, and the need for qualified aides continues to grow. Every year, approximately 4,742,500 people receive support from home healthcare agencies. But due to growing demand, many elderly individuals aren’t able to receive treatment within the comfort of their own homes. Now, a new law signed by Governor Cuomo will help these patients have access to the care they need.

Up until now, it’s been difficult for many patients to receive the high-quality care they deserve. In many cases, unpaid family members have been tasked with dispensing medication or other activities that they aren’t trained to perform. The alternative is that these patients are often forced to move into nursing facilities, oftentimes before it’s medically necessary.

However, this new law tackles that issue by establishing the advanced home health aide (or AHHA) job designation. It’s actually an amendment of Article 139 of the Education Law and Article 36 of the Public Health Law. Essentially, an AHHA is now authorized to perform certain advanced tasks like the operation of medical equipment and administration of medication without violating the legalities of the existing law that pertain to unauthorized nursing practices.

Those who fall under the Advanced Home Health Aide category receive extra training and are supervised by a licensed registered professional nurse in order to carry out these advanced tasks.

The law is a win for all sorts of patients who require care at home, but it’s especially important for those with dementia diseases. Considering that one in three seniors passes away from Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, there’s always a need for qualified caregivers. Despite the fact that home care is preferred for dementia patients, prior to the law’s passing, those who suffered from these conditions often had to move into nursing homes to receive proper support. But with this legislation, those with dementia diseases can remain in their homes for much longer.

Not only does staying in a familiar environment have a positive effect on those dealing with Alzheimer’s, their ability to remain at home will also save New York State hundreds of millions of dollars in Medicaid payments.

Jane Ginsburg, executive director of the Coalition of New York State Alzheimer’s Association Chapters, stated that the law “is a victory for all New Yorkers with Alzheimer’s disease and their 1.1 million caregivers. Alzheimer’s is a public health crisis, and we applaud Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature for supporting this effort to keep New Yorkers at home.”