I'm being accused of elder abuse (medical), how do I fight it?

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I'm one of four caregivers to a disabled woman. I'm the overnight (live-in aide) caregiver I work every night from 9pm to 8am. I'm in charge of medication, so I'm responsible for ordering and filling the pillbox. I'm being accused of abuse because my client didn't have her medication for 2 weeks in December. The thing is that I had ordered her medication before it was finished (1 week before), and the pharmacy came to drop it off but the caregiver didn't answer. I ordered it again and told 2 separate caregivers that it was ready for pick up, they didn't pick it up. Now, I'm the only one being accused of abuse even though there are 3 other workers perfectly capable of picking up the medication. The pharmacy isn't even open during my shift. What should I do?

Pharmacy Hours:
Mon - Fri: 9 am - 9 pm
Sat: 9 am - 5 pm
Sun: 10 am - 6 pm

My Shift:
Mon-Fri: 9pm-8am
Sat,Sun: 9pm-9am


Shifts of other Caregivers:
Mon-Fri: 2pm-9pm
Sat-Sun: 9am-9pm

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I hate this for you, but if you delegate to irresponsbile people, you are responsble. If the owner does not empower you to get the job done, get out of their and save your license if you need one, and keep your name off the abuse registries because you won't be able to work in this field if the abuse/neglect is founded.
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Malis, C Magnum's question was my first thought, too: who has overall responsibility for this client's care provision? Because that person is the one who should be looking at the overall picture and allocating roles with a bit of common sense to them. Making you responsible for the supply of medication when you are the one caregiver who is not scheduled to work during pharmacy hours is bonkers. Any of the other three could collect the order on his or her way to or from work, no?

The other obvious solution would be to order medications from a pharmacy that offers a delivery service, but perhaps that's too simple for your agency? I hope you're not being successfully scapegoated; but cover your back by setting out the straightforward history you've told us. I also really hope that your client didn't come to any lasting harm?
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My BIL was a caregiver who worked for an agency. I am not clear who exactly, but either the client or the family expected him to do things that was contrary to the policies of the agency. Instead of staying right there with the client, they had him going out to buy things from the store. When the agency learned of what he was doing, he was fired and has never worked for the agency again.

I hope you get this issues cleared up before you quit.
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I was hired by an agency here in San Diego. I do not have issue with the coordinator, but the owner is a different story. The owner is nice one moment and very rude the next, depending on if she feels that she is getting her way or not. She gets especially prickly when I refuse to do things out of my work time, even when I try to explain to her that I'm not working. I don't believe that I'll be working for them much longer but I would like to get this issue cleared up before I quit.

The client cannot be left alone at all, she needs constant supervision. Any time that a caregiver is not assigned to work with her, she attends a day program that is nearby. She's there from 8am to 2pm on weekdays. Now that I think of it.. the scheduling does not make much sense. They have us scheduled to work anywhere from 3 hour to 12 hour shifts.
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Upon looking at the schedules of the shifts, I see where no one is there from 8 am to 9 am on Monday through Friday because the other people do not come until either 9 am or 2 pm. That is odd scheduling.
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The coordinator wants you to do various tasks when you are not working your scheduled shift. That's like having you do extra work beyond the time you are scheduled to put in and then not paying you for that extra time. Have you been hired by this person through an agency or are you a private contractor? My step-sister never expects or asks the three caregivers that she coordinates to do anything extra without also paying them for that extra time.

Your shift begins after the pharmacy is already closed and ends before the pharmacy opens. Thus, there is no way that you can personally pick up the medicines and having another job in the morning makes that even more impossible. Why then has the coordinator made you responsible for ordering the medicine and filling the pillbox when you can't also be the person who picks the meds up? That sounds like poor management on the part of the coordinator. My step-sister is a CPA and would never have this so poorly coordinated. Sounds like a set up for failure to me.

From 9 pm to 8 am is an hour less than a 12 hour shift. How much time are the other three caregivers there for the 13 hours that you are not there? Can your disabled client be left alone long enough for one of the other caregivers to pick up the medicines from the pharmacy?

If this is such a problem getting the medicines from the pharmacy to the residence, then why doesn't the coordinator make everyone's job easier by finding a pharmacy that will mail the meds in on an auto refill program?

I guess it is just me, but why does it take three people to cover 13 hours of the day when one person covers 11? I guess it is because it is at night.

Reading this makes me very glad for how my step-sister coordinates my dad's care with three caregivers who work 8 hour shifts and has his meds mailed from the pharmacy to his house on a monthly basis. I am sorry that you are in this mess and hope you get cleared of elder abuse and if you don't need to keep working for this person find someone has a better coordinator to work for. I would never give someone the responsibility to do something that I did not also give them the opportunity on their shift to be able to accomplish. That is not being a good manager and not very coordinated or very involved in the overall process.
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I have another job during the morning so I wouldn't be available to pick up the meds either way. The coordinator is aware of this other job and doesn't seem to care that I don't have the time.

The thing that irks me the most is that the boss expects me to do all these tasks out of my scheduled shift. She asks me to take her to the bank, to take her to the store, talk to the apartment managers, etc.
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If I was the live-in/in-charge I would have RUN to the pharmacy when the last pill was gone. IN CHARGE means you are the responsible party.
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What was the process before the 2 weeks in question and what is it now?
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Why isn't the person coordinating the four caregivers taking care of getting the medication to the house themselves? How often do they need to be refilled?

How long was it before the person coordinating the caregivers was informed that the meds had not been filled? Two weeks to not know that seems like a long time to me.

My step-sister oversees three caregivers for my dad and they work 8 hour shifts each. She checks on how things are going on a weekly or more often basis. She would have been told that such meds had not been delivered. It really is not workable for either of the three caregivers to go by the drug store and pick up the meds and one never knows when a delivery will take place. That is why she has his meds mailed to him. That way the meds are there and whoever the caregiver is just picks them up with the other mail that comes to the house.

This sounds like a management problem that is getting passed off onto the caregiver.

Sounds like the caregiver who did not pick the meds up when they were delivered needs to be fired and replaced. It is not your fault that they didn't get the meds when they were delivered or go by and pick them up.
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