Assisted Living (AL) residents are considered medically stable. In an AL this is their home and they are assisted with the activities of daily living. Caregivers or CNA's with the proper training to become Medication Aids can safely and effectively give medications or oversee that the proper medication is administered. These Medication Aids's are still under the license of an RN, which is in their best interest to make sure all medications are passed correctly by their Medication Aids if they wish to keep their license. Many seniors eyesight is an issue and/or remembering which medications they took can be difficult even if their pills are put into an AM/PM pill counter.
Note this, just because someone has gotten their CNA certification does not mean that they have the mental capability to pass medications. We put our Medication Aids through rigorous training and they have regular audits they must pass to continue in their roll.
Further complicating the issue, nursing schools have begun to phase out LVN/LPN programs forcing retirement communities to find new methods to safely pass the medications, thus training CNA's to pass medications.
Please note that if the resident is unstable medically than living in an AL may not be the best setting for them.
When it comes to Skilled Nursing or Hospital settings where patients are consistently unstable, I agree, medications should be passed by a trained professional i.e. RN.