Share the Care Act helps families with home aides

WILMINGTON — Delaware families now have the option to have a home health aide give medicines to a loved one at home. AARP Delaware helped pass the Share the Care Act a year ago, and regulations became effective June 1.

Before Share the Care, aides were prohibited from giving medicines. This caused many family caregivers (who often work outside the home) to move loved ones to a nursing home. The new law allows families to have an aide give medicines to a loved one.

The Share the Care Act includes safety provisions — special training is required for aides, and medicines must be pre-packaged and labelled. Certain medicines, like opioids, are excluded.

“Passing the Share the Care Act was a long fight, but AARP members and volunteers created a real grassroots push to get it done,” said Sheila Grant, AARP Delaware advocacy director.

“We knew this was an important issue, because we heard from many families about the difficulty of making sure their loved ones took the medicines they needed, when they needed it. Many caregivers had to leave work in the middle of the day or were forced to skip giving medicines at the right times.”