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Things Are Not Always as They Seem

answered 09:16 PM EST, Wed October 10, 2012
anonymous anonymous
My elderly mom has bad arthritis and other pain complaints and needs assistance in the home. She is on a lot of pain medications and she has a caregiver come in every day to helper her with her bathing and with meal preparation and some other odds and ends. She is a pretty independent person so this lets her stay out of an assisted living community for the time being.

My mom’s long time caregiver recently moved away and so we have gotten a new lady, who seems nice. Yesterday, I saw her leaving a place I know to be a methadone clinic. I know people deserve second chances but I am not sure that a recovering junkie is the best person to be handing out my mom’s opiate pain medications. I am thinking about firing her. Am I overreacting?

Raffi Bilek Says...

Sorry if this comes out double - I tried to post an answer before and it seems not to have gone through. Hopefully this one will.

The first thing that I think is important to think about is that we don't really know what's going on here.  Here are a couple of ideas off the top of my head as to what could be going on in this situation:

  • She works at the clinic.
  • She had to help another client at the clinic.
  • It's no longer actually a methadone clinic.
  • She went to the wrong address and you saw her coming out.

It's a very real possibility that there is some explanation here OTHER than that she was a heroin addict.  So really before making a decision you'd need to clarify with her what her situation is.

Second, even if she is a recovering addict, there is a lot more information you would need before you could tell how unsafe the situation is.  For example, how long has she been in recovery?  How committed is she to staying clean?  How stable is her life in general?  Also, do you have any references for her? (It is always a good idea to get references for caregivers, babysitters, etc.)

In the end, you may find you want to find someone a different caregiver anyway; but at this point I think you don't have enough information to really know if that's necessary.  In this situation, like many others, honesty and communication are probably the best methods of getting what you need.

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Page last updated Oct 11, 2012

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