If Someone Is Going To Be In Hospice At Home, Will Hospice Give The Oral Morphine To Anyone To Administer? Does Hospice Ask A Person Who Volunteers To Be A Caregiver If He Has A Criminal/drug Past?

Question

Asked by Z..T.

If Someone Is Going To Be In Hospice At Home, Will Hospice Give The Oral Morphine To Anyone To Administer? Does Hospice Ask A Person Who Volunteers To Be A Caregiver If He Has A Criminal/drug Past?

If hospice is supposed to be an advocate for the patient first, shouldn't hospice vet the caregiver before giving him/her morphine to give to the patient? If hospice has no responsibility in making sure the volunteer caregiver is someone who won't abuse the position, how can an elderly, frail patient be protected? I guess I need to know - if hospice doesn't vet the "friend" caregiver, then who protects the patient? Who makes sure the patient is safe? Thank you.

Answer

Hi ZT,

Hospice organizations vary. Some are non-profit and some for-profit. Some are better than others. My experience with our local hospice has been wonderful and I hear the same from others around the country. Still, there are likely some that aren't as careful as others.

If you are worried about a certain volunteer, ask the hospice you are working with how they vet the people who help. If you don't want a certain volunteer to help your loved one, you can likely say so. I would think that most hospice organizations would deny volunteer status to someone with an abuse record, but you can feel free to check.

Take care your loved one. You are his or her advocate so you have that right.

Take care of yourself, as well,

Carol

Answered by Carol Bradley Bursack