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Thread: Direct Care Worker and Suboxone

  1. #1

    Direct Care Worker and Suboxone

    I'm a C4/5 female needing total assist with ADL's. I have a care worker through an agency. That agency does drug testing upon hiring and a background check. Unfortunately two weeks ago, my direct care worker came to my home high. I called 911 and an ambulance and police officer, came to my home. That is when I was made aware of her Suboxone use. Prior to this incident, I notify the care agency about consistent lateness (30 min. plus) and change in behavior. There was no attention paid, to my concerns. The day the incident happened she was 45 min. late and no call from the agency, checking on her arrival. When I notify the agency of the situation,, they were very quick to clock her out. Clearly for their benefit. I was transferred into a shower chair, before those severity of the situation was more clear. My mother was home, but on the opposite side of the house and going in and outside periodically. She fell asleep in my bathroom and I was fortunate to yell for my mother (after some time). After the fact, I was told by someone that she could have been charged with reckless endangerment (due to my complete paralysis). I recontacted police officer, and he said no because my mother was home.
    I live in Pennsylvania and was wondering if anyone had any unfortunate similar experience and/or advice. I would like her not to be able to work as a caregiver (at least through a paid agency).. There are many individuals, that live alone. I look forward to any feedback.

  2. #2
    If she is not licensed, then there is really nothing you can do about reporting her to any state licensing board. Since she was not arrested, it is likely that nothing will show up on a background check for her if she goes to another caregiver agency either, although being fired from the agency you were using should be red flag for any other agency. If she tries to work outside of an agency, hopefully other potential employers will do a background check, including checking her references and previous employers. The agency would not be able to tell them why she was fired, but they can say they would not employer her again. I would also recommend filing a report (on yourself) to Adult Protective Services to see if they could do anything about this, especially having this show up on her background check.

    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  3. #3
    I appreciate your feedback. I was not aware of Adult Protective Services. I will reach out to them tomorrow.

  4. #4
    I find it odd that a licensed agency could hire an unlicensed caregiver for someone in your condition.

  5. #5
    At least in Colorado, licensing is tiered and “non-medical” agencies can and do provide a lot of personal care services (transfers, bathing, toileting, dressing, feeding, handing meds) that are often believed to be exclusive to medical agencies. I’ve heard a lot of different rationales for it, and agencies will sometimes use the regulations to rule out a class of work they don’t want to cope with, but it’s unusual for them to overreach. Individual caregivers are another issue entirely.

  6. #6
    Well, in PA it is quite common. And to be truthful, I have had very good luck with my unlicensed caregivers.

  7. #7
    I contacted Adult Protective Services, by phone. I unfortunately had to leave a voicemail. But to my surprise they got in contact with my Service Coordinator, to investigate the situation. Having more than one incident report, will hopefully prevent another consumer from an unfortunate event.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Melbourne, FL USA
    Have use healthcare agencies after hospital discharges, etc. In my nearly 40 years have never seen them scraping the bottom of the barrel for qualified people in the healthcare industry as they are now.

    Scares me to imagine the care a quadriplegic receives in a Medicare funded nursing home in 2019. It is only going to get worse as the elderly population grows and available health care workers diminish. With our significant disabilities and specialized needs this will compound our difficulties immensely .

    It will take major financial penalties handed down by judges (conservative & progressive), making healthcare administered by the courts wasting time and money as a problem increases.

    Medical care will get worse as all underfunded entitlement programs are now, never mind in 20 years, because there simply isn't any money to pay for it.

  9. #9
    I know this is old, but im kind of confused...You cannot get high from suboxone. She must have been on other opiates. She may have tested positive for suboxone because she might use that when she doesn't have painkillers so it cancels her withdrawals.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by cjmackay View Post
    I know this is old, but im kind of confused...You cannot get high from suboxone. She must have been on other opiates. She may have tested positive for suboxone because she might use that when she doesn't have painkillers so it cancels her withdrawals.
    I understand your perception. She was prescribed Suboxone, because of a previous addiction. She was using Benzodiazepines, along with it.

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