California Assembly Bill 241 (AB 241) is a newly proposed bill that seeks to enact a Domestic Worker Bill of Rights. The legislation would guarantee overtime pay for domestic workers who put in more than nine hours per day or 45 hours per week.
The Senate approved the bill with amendments last month. AB-241 initially included a long list of workers’ rights such as meal breaks and sick days. However, it was ultimately amended to focus on overtime pay exclusively.
How Will the New California Legislation Impact Care?
AB 241 is being pushed into law at a very unfortunate time. That’s because a staggering number of baby boomers are dealing with health issues that require homecare services. Since many older adults want to remain independent, home care services are often the only option that allows for aging in place.
At a time when a record numbers of older adults are relying on in-home services, this bill could not have come at a worse time. AB 241 would likely force a high number of Californians into assisted living or nursing homes rather than remaining at home. This is largely due to the cost increase that seniors will face with paying overtime hours in the new homecare business model. Because of this bill, clients requiring around the clock care will now face a monthly bill that equals about 3x what they were originally paying.
AB 241 and Dementia
This particular piece of legislation will be extremely damaging for clients with Alzheimer’s and dementia, as these clients don’t tolerate change very well. They become accustomed to dealing with one specific caregiver and any deviation from that plan could bring an unwelcome set of circumstances. For example, most Alzheimer’s patients find it extremely difficult to welcome new people into their daily routine. That characteristic alone makes it dangerous to expose clients to the hustle and bustle that ultimately goes along with rotating a high number of daily caregivers. In the worst case scenario, clients suffering from Alzheimer’s or alternate form of dementia would ultimately be forced out of their own homes into an unfamiliar assisted living facility or nursing home.