General qualifications for direct care staff
All of us in the “industry” understand the difficulty we face with finding the right team members to serve in our communities. The positions are tough, consuming (especially during the time of writing this article; see COVID-19) and can leave many burnt out. But it is also an incredibly rewarding experience for employees to share their compassion for others and provide care to seniors! Employees in an ALF must be held to high standards and have specific as defined by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services in the following regulation:
- 2800.54. Qualifications for direct care staff persons.
(a) Direct care staff persons shall have the following qualifications:
(1) Be 18 years of age or older, except as permitted in subsection (d).
(2) Have a high school diploma, GED or active registry status on the Pennsylvania nurse aide registry.
(3) Be free from a medical condition, including drug or alcohol addiction, that would limit direct care staff persons from providing necessary assisted living services with reasonable skill and safety.
(4) Be able to communicate in a mode or manner understood by the resident. Strategies that promote interactive communication on the part of direct care staff and individual residents shall be developed in accordance with the resident’s final support plan under § 2800.227(e) (relating to the development of the final support plan).
(b) A volunteer who performs or provides ADLs shall meet the direct staff person qualifications and training requirements specified in this chapter.
(c) A resident receiving assisted living services who voluntarily performs tasks in the residence will not be considered a volunteer under this chapter.
(d) Food services or housekeeping staff maybe 16 or 17 years of age.