- If residents in assisted living facilities can self-administer their medications, they should be encouraged to do so.
However, many residents need or desire some assistance with self-administration. As an unlicensed person who has successfully completed this course, you may assist them, but there are limits to the help you may provide.
Importantly, unlicensed persons may not “administer” medications. Only a licensed nurse or doctor may administer medications.
- Informed Consent: Assisted living facilities are required to advise residents that assistance with medications can be provided by an unlicensed person and whether the assistance will or will not be overseen by a nurse. Having been informed, the resident or the resident’s representative must consent to this before unlicensed staff can provide “assistance with self-administration.”The facility must document that consent has been received by obtaining a written and signed informed consent from the resident or the resident’s representative prior to assisting the resident with his/her medications for the first time. Your facility should have a procedure for obtaining informed consent from residents who will be receiving assistance with their medications. Be familiar with that procedure.
- In order to provide assistance with medications, you must be at least 18 years old and have been trained to assist residents with their medications (completed a hour medication assistance course like this one).
The training may be provided only by a registered nurse (RN), a licensed pharmacist, or Department of Elder Affair’s staff person. A certificate of completion for Assistance with Self-administered Medication Training must be documented (copy of original) in your personnel life.NOTE: You must be prepared to demonstrate to your administrator that you can read and understand a prescription label.
- Either a nurse or trained unlicensed staff must be in the facility at all times when residents need assistance with any medications.