PA 14-194—sSB 179

Aging Committee

Public Health Committee

Judiciary Committee

Appropriations Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING THE ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE AND DEMENTIA TASK FORCE'S RECOMMENDATIONS ON TRAINING

SUMMARY: This act establishes mandatory Alzheimer's and dementia-specific training for a wide range of personnel, such as emergency medical technicians (EMTs), probate judges, paid conservators, and protective services employees.

It requires any Alzheimer's special care unit staff hired on or after October 1, 2014 to complete the currently required initial Alzheimer's and dementia-specific training within the first 120 days of employment. Prior law required completion of the training within six months of employment.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2014, except for the provisions on Alzheimer's training for nursing home administrator license applicants ( 5 & 6), which take effect November 1, 2014.

1 — NURSING HOMES DEMENTIA PATIENTS

By law, nursing home administrators must ensure that all facility staff receive annual in-service training in an area specific to the patients' needs. The act specifically requires that they receive training in Alzheimer's disease and dementia symptoms and care upon employment and annually thereafter.

It requires the administrator to name an employee in each home to (1) review and make recommendations to him or her about residents with dementia and (2) monitor the implementation of approved recommendations. The recommendations must include (1) factors that affect person-centered care, (2) wellness indicators, and (3) programs to train staff to care for patients with dementia.

The act also requires the Department of Public Health (DPH) commissioner to adopt implementing regulations.

2 — NURSING HOME AND HOSPICE STAFF

The act requires home health agencies, residential care homes, assisted living services agencies, and licensed hospice care organizations to provide to all staff providing direct care, upon employment and annually thereafter, training and education in Alzheimer's disease and dementia symptoms and care. It requires the DPH commissioner to adopt implementing regulations.

3 — STAFF SERVING PEOPLE WITH DOWN SYNDROME

The act requires the developmental services commissioner's regulations to mandate that residential facilities serving people age 50 or older with Down syndrome have at least one employee trained in Alzheimer's disease and dementia symptoms and care.

4 — ALZHEIMER'S UNIT STAFF

By law, all licensed and registered staff and nurses' aides who provide direct care to patients in Alzheimer's special care units or programs must receive Alzheimer's and dementia-specific training, including at least eight hours of dementia-specific training annually. Unregistered and unlicensed staff, except nurse's aides, who provide services and care to residents must complete one hour of such training annually.

The act requires staff hired on or after October 1, 2014 to complete the initial training within the first 120 days of employment. Prior law required staff to complete this training within six months after being hired.

5 & 6 — NURSING HOME ADMINISTRATOR NEW APPLICANT LICENSE

The act requires anyone applying for a new nursing home administrator's license by examination to have completed training in Alzheimer's disease and dementia symptoms and care, in addition to training and qualifications required by existing law.

It requires anyone applying for this license by endorsement to (1) have training or education in long-term care, including Alzheimer's and dementia symptoms and care, or (2) certify, in writing, that he or she will get such training not later than 120 days after being licensed. (License by endorsement means that Connecticut will issue a license to an out-of-state applicant to operate here if his or her credentials satisfy the state's licensing requirements. )

7 — NURSING HOME ADMINISTRATORS' CONTINUING EDUCATION

The act requires nursing home administrators to complete training in Alzheimer's disease and dementia symptoms as part of the 40-hour continuing education training they must complete every two years under existing law. It adds courses offered or approved by the Alzheimer's Association to the qualifying continuing education courses.

8 — NURSING HOME ADMINISTRATOR COURSE REQUIREMENTS

The act requires the DPH commissioner to include Alzheimer's disease and dementia in the course or degree requirements for licensure of nursing home administrators. Among the other existing requirements are management behavior, nursing home administration, psychosocial behavior, and gerontology.

9 — REPRESENTATIVES OF NURSING HOME AND LONG-TERM REHABILITATION FACILITIES

The act requires the state long-term care ombudsman to provide training to representatives of residents in nursing homes and residential care facilities in areas such as Alzheimer's disease and dementia symptoms and care. By law, a “representative” is a regional ombudsman, a resident's advocate, or an employee of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Office designated by the ombudsman.

10 — PROBATE JUDGES, CONSERVATORS, AND FIDUCIARIES

The act requires the probate court administrator to develop a plan to train probate judges, paid conservators, and other fiduciaries in diseases and disorders affecting a person's judgment, including Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

11 — PROTECTIVE SERVICES FOR THE ELDERLY PROGRAM

The act requires the Department of Social Services (DSS) commissioner to ensure that all employees assigned to DSS' protective services for the elderly program who interact directly with seniors receive annual training in Alzheimer's disease and dementia symptoms and care.

12 — EMTs

The act requires that the 30 hours of refresher training required every three years for EMT recertification include training in Alzheimer's disease and dementia symptoms and care.

OLR Tracking: VR: JO: PF: am