The Alliance is pleased to announce a new member benefit — exclusive free access to Dementia Care Education that complies with New Hampshire’s new dementia training requirements. This training is currently in development and will be available in early February as recorded webinars that any member agency can use. We are partnering with C & V Senior Care Specialists, a national consulting firm that specializes in dementia care and behavioral health care in the home. The program will include materials, training rosters, evaluations, and a template for Certificates of Completion. The training is designed to meet the needs of nurses, therapists, home health aides, personal care providers, and ancillary staff. The Alliance is dedicated to helping our members provide the best care possible and comply with New Hampshire’s law and regulations.
On January 1st, a new NH law – RSA 151:47 — took effect requiring residential care and community-based facilities licensed under RSA 151 that care for adults to provide dementia care training to all direct care staff. This law was part of HB 4 – the budget bill—which the Governor signed in September. The law requires 6 hours of initial training and 4 hours of continuing education annually.
This week, the NH House of Representatives is expected to pass SB 255, which will make changes to the newly-enacted dementia training law. Assuming the House passes SB 255, the bill will be considered by the Senate and then sent on to the Governor. We will be advocating for quick action on this bill. SB 255 delays the training requirements and provides for more flexibility. In the meantime, NH DHHS is drafting rules for all licensed facilities that are impacted by the law. DHHS has informed us that He-P 809 Home Health Care Providers and He-P 822 Home Care Service Providers are impacted. It will take about 6 months to complete the rule-making process.
Here’s what the final law will likely include:
- All direct care workers hired after February 1, 2020, will need to complete 6 hours of initial training within 90 days of hire
- All direct care workers hired before February 1, 2020, who do not have equivalent training will need to complete 6 hours of training within 6 months (by August 1st.)
- The training must include the following:
- Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia
- Person-centered care
- Assessment & Care Planning
- Activities of Daily Living
- Dementia-related behaviors and communication
- Employees who have incidental contact with clients will need to complete 1 hour of training.
- Agencies will be expected to document training in employees personnel files
- Agencies must provide affected staff with a Certificate of Completion, which is portable.
- Employees will be responsible for maintaining their own Certificates.
- Direct care staff who care only for pediatric or young adult clients are not subject to the training requirements.
I will provide you with a copy of the law’s requirements once SB 255 is signed into law. The Alliance will also provide input into the rulemaking process as DHHS drafts rules.
Dementia care training is good for employees and for the clients they serve! Nevertheless, meeting the requirements of the new law will be financially and operationally challenging for agencies. That’s why our Board of Directors agreed to offer the Alliance’s dementia education as a free member benefit. Once it is available, I hope you will use the Alliance’s Dementia Care Education Program to help your staff deliver the best care possible to clients with Alzheimer’s or dementia-related disorders.