B. Assisting Residents to Take Medications

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Either a nurse or trained unlicensed staff must be in the facility at all times when residents need assistance with any medications.