Why do personal items go missing in nursing homes?

I am addressing this letter to all the caretakers and families in Canada who have family members residing in nursing homes. I want to know if the situations that we are encountering are widespread and if there is anything that we can do to change policies and procedures to help alleviate the problem.

My mother is 88 years old and has been in an Ottawa nursing home for the past 8 years. She has Parkinson’s, is in a wheelchair and cannot move. She is able to communicate and is aware of her surroundings (Parkinson’s only affects her movement, so she knows what is going on around her).

Since she has been in a nursing home her glasses have been lost 4 times and her dentures have been lost 3 times. Each time these items go missing we (the family) have to arrange for them to be replaced. This is not an easy task. It is very expensive as she does not have any insurance. Also, the hours we spend trying to deal with this situation could be precious time spent with our loved one instead.

In March of this year, when her teeth had been lost for the second time, we had to make arrangements for my poor Mom to get to 4 denturist appointments for fittings. This is not an easy thing as she is in a large wheelchair and she is not in the best of health. While waiting for her new teeth, my Mom was unable to chew and therefore had to be fed pureed food which is not appealing at the best of times, so she lost interest in food and consequently lost weight. She was also not able to communicate well without her teeth. Her health was compromised and her quality of life decreased enormously. Once she received her new teeth she began eating better and therefore her health improved.

Now we have just learned that her bottom teeth (less than 6 months old) have gone missing, again! The glasses that we purchased for her in December 2012 have also been lost and need to be replaced, again! Not one of the personal care staff are willing to take any responsibility for these losses, they all blame someone else. Needless to say we are outraged and are trying to figure out what is wrong with nursing home procedures regarding the loss of personal items.

When her teeth were lost again this past spring we contacted the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. They basically told us that it is up to each individual nursing home to set up policies and procedures regarding this issue. I spoke to an inspector who assured me that my Mom’s nursing home had policies in place to make sure that items would not be lost. We also spoke to the Director of Care for her nursing home who said she was aware of the situation and would make sure that these policies were followed. We even put up large colored signs in my Mom’s room indicating the special box where her glasses and teeth are to be kept to assist the personal support workers. Obviously this is not working and we need to find a better solution.

We want to know if there are other families out there who are experiencing the same problems. Eye glasses, false teeth and hearing aids are the most common personal care items that disappear. In our visits to the nursing home we often see residents without teeth or glasses, we presume the family members have simply given up since they are difficult and very expensive to replace. The loss of these items affects the quality of life for our family members in nursing homes and we feel that something needs to happen so that this situation can change.

If this problem has affected the care of your loved one in a nursing home we would like to hear from you. Do you see any solution or change that may help us in our effort to keep nursing home residents comfortable in their last years? With the population of Canada rapidly ageing, this could be happening to you or your loved one sooner than you think! Share your experiences and maybe together we can all come up with some solution to this ongoing problem.

Debbie Conway lives in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

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  1. Maggie

    I work as a psychologist in longterm nursing facilities. Unfortunately this is a common problem that is often ignored by staff and it is up to the patient or their family to address the issue. Sometimes patient’s are not capable of advocating for themselves and it does help for family to step in to address the issue. I am glad your mother has you.

    • Administrator

      I am an administrator of a nursing home and the question is when do families become responsible..? Nursing homes are paid to provide direct care of 2.80 a day of direct care. This includes all meals, medication administration, etc. If your family member needs more hours of care per day then consider hiring a sitter. When one admits to a facility it is not an end all to all problems. Again you are paying for certain aspects of care and not paying for 24 hour a day 1:1 attention. Consider having realistic expectations…

      • Deborah

        Wow! Your an administrator? I would not want my loved one attending your facility. Answering this question in the manner you stated shows that your attitude toward other issues would also flippant. This is a difficult experience for a family to deal with and you seem to have little compassion or understanding toward the families that deal with this on a daily basis or an understanding of how to solve the problem. I would say your facility needs a new administrator with a compassionate attitude and a “let’s solve problems- not add to the dysfunction”.

      • J. Grandchamp

        It doesn’t sound as though the writer has unrealistic expectations. She just expects that the staff will have protocols in place to make it possible that patients won’t repeatedly lose dentures, hearing aids, and other personal items. I don’t know how expensive nursing homes are in Canada, but in the part of the United States where I live, we pay approximately $10,000 a month for what is labeled as room and board. Though no one expects staff to spend the entire day with the patient, staff should notice if the patient is not wearing his/her teeth after lunch. This would make the process of finding dentures a little bit more fruitful, at times.

        Yes, there will be losses. But in the nursing home where my mother is, one patient has lost her bottom dentures three times. To me, it would seem that the staff would realize after the first time that this woman is at risk for losing personal appliances and there would be protocols in place to ensure that she is periodically checked for missing dentures so when necessary, a search can be started quickly.

        • Barbara Stoffels

          brings back memories. my mom “lost” hers when the staff thought it too much trouble to take care of them. when I took her to a local dentist for her partial replacement, management was furious. spent thousands of dollars replacing her clothes after they were stolen, time and time again. one of the laundry staff kept a log and between the two of us, we could prove theft….but mgt said: but “they” don’t make much money!!!! meaning the aides were underpaid and the culture permitted this as a wage supplement….tried to get an assemblyman to initiate legislation to apply penalties to nursing home administrators but it went nowhere….right now some of these places are hell. “residents” can’t hear (some one lost their hearing aid”, read (someone lost their glasses) or eat properly. The next thing is a diagnosis of deteriorating cognition because the resident doesn’t respond to someone ….

      • Sherry

        There is NO way I would even consider allowing my loved one to be in your care. It think based on your answer you need to find a new job where compassion, concern and overall patient care is NOT required!

      • Name (required)


      • Helga

        Consider adequately training staff to deal with denture issues. The home security act states that you are responsible to make sure that teeth are in place for every meal to aid in chewing, incising to help with proper digestation. What about the lost dignity in appearance. Take action and take ownership.
        Frustrated family member

  2. Lee-ann bird

    Staff just do not care. The patient is just an object. They have no empathy for the patient. They as staff are not acountable for lost items. I look after an old lady in a home and i am subjected t the same problems. I work in the dental industry and see many cases of lost dentures

  3. Janet Girecky

    As an LVN and RCFE administrator, I have found the best procedure to follow is to make one person responsible to assure that glasses, hearing aids and dentures are properly handled. All items should be stamped /labeled with identifying marks. At bedtime, these items need to be removed, dentures cleaned and placed to soak, hearing aid batteries removed and aids placed in storage pouch, and glasses cleaned and placed in a case. After the previous steps are followed, the steps need to be checked off in a log book, with the caregiver’s initials. In the AM, the caregiver should find all items in their proper place, then initial the log when all items have been returned to the Resident. Any missing items need to be reported to the Supervisor immediately.

  4. Diane

    My father’s glasses & dentures also went missing. We often found these and other items in another patient’s room, though, as he was on a floor of patients with severe dementia, many of whom liked to “collect” things..Unfortunately, there was not much the staff could do about it, as they cannot watch over all the patients who wander in and out of rooms. My mother eventually taped down everything she could, labelled everything, and brought his glasses back and forth with her as he never read on his own anyway.

    • Colin

      We have the same problem only worse in the UK.
      Below are two letters explaining the loss of MANY possessions not just teeth – it can be very amusing when you get used to the conclusion that every care home is a kleptomaniac’s dream.
      Yes we too have found that things go missing but after a while I have come to the conclusion (as Fiona said, and the post did make me laugh) that a lot of the time it is my mother who has left or swapped items as she wanders round the home. To date, a watch, pair of glasses, hearing aid, walking stick and various other things. Sometimes I go and one or other has reappeared only to be missing next time. I have stopped worrying about it and now only have to persaude my Dad to stop worrying too. Thought I might show him this thread so he realises it’s quite commmon. PP

      Hiya Garnuft,
      I have to say we all laughed that day – one when we sat looking at each other asking where the remote control had gone because we had been in her room for something like 6 hours by then and as she was sleeping the tv was the only thing to keep us amused! When we toddled off down to the lounge to tell the carers we’d been robbed whilst in situ – they laughed too – they knew who it was – had rescued the remote and the glasses but said that unfortunately the pot pourii was now at the end of the corridor providing great entertainment because they were all sitting there pulling it to bits! Off i went to see this for myself and sure enough – it was everywhere but a lot of contented residents were having a great time and one carer there making sure they didn’t eat the stuff! The carer said that they were thinking of hiring her out as a pick pocket if they were ever short of money – I said i’ll keep that in mind because she would be top of her profession that’s for sure! LOL
      Can I just say I agree about the most precious thing in there being themselves. Also wanted to say about photographs too – if you can either print them off or if they are old photographs then scan them then print them – that is the preferable thing to do. Photograph ripping also seems to be a favoured pastime amongst some folks – but it does leave us wondering why the person in question was removed from the pic that day but not on other days – really makes you wonder how the mind works when dementia starts interfering.
      Take Care

  5. David Evans

    I am working with the Nursing homes in the Calgary area implementing an new technology for the return of found dentures and glasses to their owners. The nursing homes have found our program to be both cost effective and affordable. Best of all it takes a little strain of of us, the families.
    David Evans
    Eyedent Technologies.

    • Sue

      Can you give me some contact info for your company to pass on to my mom’s nursing home?

  6. Kim Steacy

    I have just returned from mom’s nursing home where one of her hearing aids has gone missing again! Two years ago, one went missing permanently. Purchased a new set $2,000. Early Dec, one went missing, found in laundry room 3 weeks later. Found the day I was ordering the new replacement $1500. Solution by staff was to put up a sign at the head of her bed to check for hearing aids before sending sheets to laundry… perhaps it should have read check hearing aids in patient’s ears before sending sheet to laundry. Receive a call a few days ago, hearing aid went missing after mom’s shower. Do the staff actually care about missing things. Not really, as they aren’t the ones having to replace them. I purchased an expensive $75 pair of slip-on running shoes with rubber soles (hard to find) at the start of summer… sent them to the laundry for “labelling”… never saw them again. My father was given a quilt from the Cancer Society when he was terminal. After he passed, the quilt was with mom for a short time before it went missing. I asked how many hearing aids go missing… “lots”. Obviously the procedures they are using (or not using) don’t work! My mom does not want to take out her hearing aids at night as she is legally blind and this is her link to the outside world. I don’t doubt that they would go missing at the nurses station either. Now they are going to check in the morning and at night as part of their routine (a little late). More than frustrated.

  7. David Evans

    I am introducing a identification method, for eyeglasses, hearing aids and Dentures. All items if lost then found can be readily identified.

    • Name (required)

      I am interested in your identificatin process. Please provide me more info. My MIL has lost two hearings AIDS in her nursing home in one month.

      Gets costly to replace.



  8. Trish Rawsthorne

    I agree with your comments above and believe that this is a systemic issue throughout Canadian personal care homes. I am from Manitoba and my Mother is currently in a personal care home and she has lost several items – eye glasses, her large clock, etc. My advice is to take pictures of the items that are likely to disappear – glasses, dentures, etc. and have those pictures attached to the medical record. If possible when dentures are being created, I would find out if there is a way to place the name of the individual onto the denture plates so that when the items are “lost”, they can be identified and returned to the owner. Similarly, I would encourage identifying other items. I suspect that these items go missing through several routes: when bathing residents, the aide conducting the bath is pre-occupied with the task at hand, and it can be an assembly line procedure so personal items are left in the bathing room not at the bedside prior to the bath. The second more likely event is residents wandering into other residents’ rooms and seeing items that look “nice” or familiar, they may take them thinking they belong to them. I know the nursing home staff often have a collection of glasses etc. without any identification so they are unable to return them to residents. When I take my mother out of the facility, I close the door to her room; however, more often than not, when we return her door is open – housekeeping, other residents? There is no way to lock the door, though I think there should be a way to do this to protect the belonging of the resident. I would continue to press the head of the personal care home for innovative ideas on how to protect possessions.

  9. Karin

    I was just looking on-line in the hope that I might find some advice or support in dealing with a similar problem – hence I found this page. Unfortunately I am unable to help of offer any advice to you – sadly I can only tell you that the same problem also happens here in England.

    My sister is currently in a long-term, residential care facility – a Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit and Care Facility. Since her admission back in December 2012, 10 months after her brain injury, I have had to deal with numerous problems relating to her personal property going missing. To date none of the items, bar one pair of trousers, have been found or returned to her. I am currently trying to deal with the fact that 12 days ago a large amount of her clothing and some other personal belongings were found to be missing, indeed most of the missing clothing was reported to me by the care facility. In addition to this she went on a special “night out”, her first since before her admission to hospital, and as the other residents and care workers were in their best clothes I thought it only appropriate that my sister was dressed likewise. So I took in a very pretty, and rather expensive, outfit for her to wear. I made arrangements with the day staff, the night staff and the Manager of the unit that the outfit should be removed upon my sister’s return, placed in a bag, put in the Manager’s office and returned to me on my next visit, (the clothing actually belongs to me personally). Since then more than a month has passed and to date I have received nothing and have been told that they do not know where the outfit is. The same is said of the newly missing clothes. Everyone acts as if it’s not their problem, all they can do is continually tell me that she needs more clothes! (rubbing salt in the wound!).

    I have once again taken to washing my sister’s clothes myself, which is what I did for over 2 years until the care facility put in place a new “system” for taking care of residents clothes washing. I feel totally stupid for having believed they could help in this way, it was supposed to take some of the pressure off me – I have a 9 year old child to take care of and am physically disabled myself, due to a spinal injury.

    It upsets me most to think we use the words “CARE” … does anyone really care ? It certainly doesn’t feel like it at times! I have enough trouble trying to ensure my sister’s physical needs are taken care of, this is just an unnecessary, additional problem.

    At this point in time it would appear I am left with no alternative but to notify the police of the missing items … I can only presume they have been stolen, as there is no other explanation for their disappearance! I am sure this is going to make the relationship between the family and the care facility very difficult, but what else can be done ??!!

    I do hope that you have some resolution to your problem. My thoughts are with you.

  10. Shirley Wilson

    My husband is in a LTC home in Calgary and his clothes keep going missing. His belt to hold up his pants, he has lost weight since going into the home. The home has happy hour and last week while at happy hour his pants fell down on the dance floor infront of all the residents. How embarassing!!! I ask the staff to look for the belt and they did nothing. Today I made an inventory of everything in his room. They ask for a padlock for his closet. I supplied a lock and it went missing. The nurses said they were looking for it, but they had the key. DAH what good does the key do without the lock. I purchased a new belt for him ($50) as he is Big n Tall. Had to buy it at George Richards. Now it went missing again. Today after making my inventory of what was in his closet the nurse looked in his room mates closet and found a pair of pants and the belt in his closet. He had one males shoe, a sock, and a ladies slip in his closet not his. The staff are negligent who do the laundry and return the clothes to the room. They just put it wherever, just to get out of the situation. Thank gooness he doesn’t have glasses or a hearing aid, or dentures. It is very frustrating for the families that have to replace articles that go missing. Today I gave them a second lock and told them if anything goes missing and I find the lock is not on the closet door, I will be calling in the Police for a search of the ward for his missing items. His shoes, slippers, pants, belt, hats, and socks have all gone missing. The laundry eats socks I am sure. They are all labelled but still to no avail. The staff don’t care at all. It is so frustrating.

    • Brenda Trasatti

      My mother has been in a nursing home since October 2014. She was using a wheelchair that the facility supplied. The arm pads were falling off, it had no footrests on it, and every now and then screws would fall out from somewhere on the chair. We purchased a new chair for my mom and are afraid that somehow this will go “missing” like many other things of hers have. We labeled the chair as best we could with black markers and even had her name etched in the metal frame. I wish we could have a tracking device attached to the chair just in case. Any ideas?

  11. Vicki

    My Mom is also in a LTC facility in Ontario. It is really sad to see that all the beautiful clothes she once was used to wearing is a chance for them to be taken, stolen or misplaced. For Christmas last year I purchased two beautiful cardigans and within one weak of having them in her closet, they have disappeared (and might I add that they have never been returned!). I was also once told by one of the staff that she needed more bras and socks! I was so taken aback and embarrassed! I almost lost it since I have purchased over 30 bras and at least one hundred pairs of (diabetic) socks in one year!! Oh where do they go? And all were labeled with her name and room! I am left to buy less expensive clothing and it breaks MY heart! I now leave notes on her closet door as to when I notice a piece of clothing that is missing. Her dentures were also lost (and NO staff advised me of the loss!) and I had to make appointments for her to be refitted with bottom dentures. It is very difficult to see a parent having to go through this. I mentioned that since her dentures were less than 5 years old, that her insurance would NOT cover them. There was not much sympathy from the staff. Obviously, the dentures were not paid by them!
    There has to be some sort of recourse for the families other than having to bite down and provide the missing items for their loved-ones. I am seriously thinking of getting little GPS chips to see if it is not staff that take the items (hopefully not the dentures)! Obviously my Mom cannot advocate for herself when something is missing. I try to keep on top of the situation and mention it everytime there is something missing. But, again, the look on the staff’s face tells me that they are far from being interested in what has disappeared.

    • Diane

      My Mom is in a long term care home in Hamilton Onntario. She is palliative with end stage cancer and blind as well! Family does her laundry and we have signage ever where in her room. All of her clothing has been “accidentally” sent out for laundering and is returned like shrunken rags. My mother is a heavier woman so we have purchased high end expensive clothing that fits her comfortably! They continue to either loose her expensive pants or destroy them. We have replaced one pair of pants for times at over 100.00 each, many nightgowns, bras, panties and even her Egyptian cotton blanket! When confronted with the problem, their response is that family should buy second hand clothing or cheap clothes at Walmart! It’s bad enough we have to pay for a laundry service that we don’t want but why doesn’t anyone care about the person! Its hard to believe that our seniors are being treated in this disgusting way. You don’t even have right to have nice clothing! Nobody cares……staff has endless excuses and family members just keep on paying. Family has been visiting my mom twice daily so they can catch the laundry before its sent out. Even doing this, laundry gets sent out first thing in the morning! It so upsetting and frustrating…..UNBELIEVABLE … It’s pathetic that they get away with this! We have to advocate for our loved ones and we need to inform the public of the goings on in Long Term Care

  12. Maureen

    Unfortunately, I’m glad to have found this comment thread. I have alot to say about this topic as my Mom has been in two different nursing homes over the past 3 years in Sault Ste. Marie. However, my main issue today is that I’ve recently encountered a situation where her purse was rifled through in her room (thank GOD I had her VISA, Passport and her Green Shield Card with me). Some spending money and all her I.D. and personal photos were taken. Initially, staff wrote it off as “Shoppers”..elderly residents who lift other elderly resident’s belongings. After putting all the puzzle pieces together, even the Administration agrees there is a thief amongst their staff, volunteers, or visitors. No old lady in a wheel chair could have pulled this off.
    We need more security in these places. My Moms’ I.D. along with her personal and cherished photographs were in the folder that was removed from her purse, along with the cash and her change purse. Her almost empty purse was located in a very peculiar spot. A place she would have never put it. Obviously it was someone who knew my Mom was out of her room, knew where her purse was hidden, and had some insight as to what might be in there. We don’t care about the money at this point. We want her I.D. and photos back. This has got to stop. If my Mom was ripped off, I’m sure other ladies and gents were ripped off on the same floor and elsewhere. Not enought emphasis is put on this. It’s shoved under the rug and blown off and nobody takes responsiblity. Let’s get together and do something. I’m sick of my Mom and other elderly folks in these homes being taken advantage of. I want my Mom’s I.D. and her photos back. And I want all of our parents and grandparents to feel safe and secure in these places without having to worry about losing their belongings. Let’s do something. I’m all in.

  13. Everlena

    I’m not in Canada but the USA, and have encountered the same problems with my loved one’s missing glasses, missing clothing, shirts, pants, shoes, coats, radio’s etc. Usually it is the staff taking most of these things, but some residents also take them. Some clothing are misplaced in the laundry, and taken by others, which is why I started doing my brother’s laundry. The nursing home has no quality laundry program which allows the tracking of a resident’s clothing, it’s a population hazard. Just a name on the item does not stop dishonesty if someone wants to take it. My doing his laundry worked for a time but during a blizzard I had to send the laundry back by UPS and it disappeared after it reached the nursing home. After a complaint some items came back but the newly purchased items I sent along with the laundry are still missing. I am fighting to get reimbursed, I have the receipts. The manager is fighting me to replace the items themselves with lower quality items. Always communicate in writing with the managers, take pictures of the things which you provide or make a video record for your own record. I have photos of the clothing which I purchase along with the receipts. Log in with the front desk what you bring to the place. Engrave the eye glasses in the lenses to identify them. This may help. Good luck

  14. Maria Allen

    Nursing Homes have always been this way. The staff generally does not care about their residents. The majority of people who work in nursing homes are not enjoying their work. Not only that, they do not hesitate to write down LIES, LIES, LIES into the paperwork. It is the way it is. Some nursing homes are better than others- we all know that. Don’t get too hot and bothered about missing items, because it is very common. Nursing Homes are obviously good for some people and it is refreshing to see them thrive. My heart goes out to you. I have gone through all the rigamarole and truly have some dark moments…But I have found that prayer, along with keeping track of your loved one’s care, is the only way to go. Someday you will feel good about the fact that your efforts made a difference. May God Bless You and keep you afloat.

  15. J. Grandchamp

    Sadly, it is the same thing in the United States. My mother lost her lower dentures after having a stroke in the nursing home, being hospitalized, then being re-hospitalized with pneumonia. Her mental functioning was compromised, and when her bottom dentures disappeared we were told that the kitchen staff doesn’t have the extra time to go over all of the trays when they come back to make sure that people with dentures didn’t accidentally leave them on the tray. The staff looked in her room, but no one had looked at her during or after lunch and noticed her teeth were missing until later in the day, and it’s likely she lost them in the dining room earlier in the day. When I asked for help in financing the dentures, I was told it was our responsibility to buy new dentures. It seems to be their responsibility to take the monthly check for room and board, but no one is responsible if a compromise patient loses her dentures.

    Now, my mother’s brand-new hearing aid is missing. No one is taking any responsibility – as a matter of fact every time something disappears, it seems the staff blames the disappearance on the memory of the patient. Very convenient in a nursing home that houses primarily the elderly, wouldn’t you say? We haven’t finished paying for the hearing aids – and she was able to wear them for a month in order to determine whether or not she wanted to keep them, but now we will be out the $2700 for the one hearing aid that’s missing even if we determine we are going to return both hearing aids. Because, of course, we will only have the one hearing aid to return. ( by the way, it’s a long story how only one hearing aid got lost, but suffice it to say the other hearing aid was damaged by a clinician and is with the clinician right now being fixed.)

    I’m not quite sure what to do about any of this. I’ll know tomorrow if they’ll help us pay for the hearing aid. But I suspect it’s going to be exactly like it was with the dentures. Our burden. I’m so sorry you’ve been going through this, as I am sorry for everyone who goes through it. But it isn’t a Canadian phenomenon. It’s happening in nursing facilities in the states, too.

  16. Nick

    Sorry to hear this re your mum. My mum is in a nursing home in Australia. The same occurs here. I’m in the process of replacing her dentures. Upper and bottom as they too have gone missing. Most recently she has lost her glasses. It is very distressing for her and for her family. I wish I had a solution to share but I don’t. Best of luck.

  17. Sandra

    My father-in-law has been there for almost 3 years. Things go missing constantly and no one wants to take responsibility. We’ve asked them to take his teeth out every night and give them back in the morning, we’ve asked them to take his hearing aids out every night and return them in the morning. We asked them to put a sign on the wall so that the garbage bag is checked before they take it out to ensure nothing has fallen into it. i.e. hearing aids/glasses/teeth. We’ve had to replace his glasses twice, we bought brand new false teeth $3500, we’ve had them lost I don’t know how many times, but thankfully we’ve found them. Unfortunately, today the bottom ones went missing again, and this time I don’t think they’ll be found. One of his hearing aids was missing, and today we noticed the other one is also gone. We ask anyone and all we get is “I don’t know, he must’ve lost them again”. Putting the blame on a 93 year old man. He pays enough to live there per month, someone else needs to start stepping up to the plate for all the costs that the families are incurring. They seem to think it’s no big deal that the families money tree will never run dry. We’ve had so many things go missing even though it all clearly had his name on it. We even had the denturist engrave his name on his teeth. What more do they expect the families to do.

  18. Teresa

    My mom is in a long term care hospital in Ottawa and her hearing aids have been lost 3 times. A member of her family or the care assistant we hire has been there to put her to bed every night for the last 500 days running to make sure they don’t go missing. If we ever miss a night because someone is sick or exhausted , they are inevitably gone or misplaced, even when we talk to the night nurses in the evening – most of whom have been caring for her for months, and get assurances face to face that this will be taken care of .. We’ve been told it’s in the daily orders, but we can never trust the staff. We have signs up all over her room, we talk to the staff about it all the time, we’ve had long meetings with the managers. Thousands of dollars out of pocket for my parents, hours and hours of negotiating with the hospital and insurance, delaying paying other bills waiting for the insurance money to come in. And absolutely the worst part of it: leaving my mother, who has hardly any capacities left, unable to talk to anyone or understand anything.. it is tragically, heartbreakingly isolating. The first time it happened she was so isolated and disoriented for so long before replacements were fitted — I know it was a major factor in a big decline in her health and in misdiagnoses, as she wasn’t able to talk to or hear any of her caregivers, physios, psychologists etc.. I just heard today that the hospital lost her hearing aids on Saturday and I just want to kill someone. I just can’t understand why why why they cant’ figure this out. it’s just not that complicated, and it’s so deeply important.

  19. colleen

    My father has had his dentures taken a couple of times at $3000 a pair and the trauma of getting it done and not being able to eat…it is a real problem. Please my mother gets upset and we have a whole period of upheaval in the family. She and we cannot afford to replace them over and over and over my dads long term care bill and her rent… is a big burden.

  20. Sandra

    Earlier in this post I spoke about my father-in-law’s dentures going missing. We have purchased him 2 new pairs of glasses in the last year, and now have to purchase a new pair because it’s gone missing AGAIN. My mother also resides in the same nursing home. Now her stuff is going missing. She had 2 hearing aids ($2,000). First one went missing, and before we could get that one replaced I found out yesterday the other has gone missing. Do we now have to start filing complaints with police to have resident areas searched. Everything that has gone missing was clearly marked with their names. When we ask caregivers/nurses all we get is “I don’t know”, you need to check with lost & found yourselves. They are open between the hours of….blah blah blah blah blah….when I tell them we work those hours they shrug their shoulders. At a cost of $2500 a month to reside in these facilities, and watching some caregivers siting and watching TV in the common room I’m now contemplating going to the top. Never mind supervisors etc…

  21. Angie

    I have a solution for you. A tool lock box with a code to keep valued items in.
    Yes this happens all across the board in spades. Care aides are busy with behavioral issues, clients dying, getting people ready for appointments and normally take care of 9 to 10 people a day. The morning shift is the most difficult time in any nursing home. This means in the span of an hour a human being is getting up 9 human beings in an hour in some places! This includes people who may not have a leg, blind, behavioral issues etc.
    Care aides are often over worked in this sector and burn out rate high.
    Some places have a locked in unit for people with Alzheimer’s, others do not. Many times it is other clients simply wandering off with someone else’s things and doing God knows what, including put items in the garbage.
    Unfortunately staff can not watch over 9-10 people all the time at once. Things can happen very fast such as a fall or even a fight between clients and that takes anyone’s attention away.
    Know your staff and come in often. Find out what the issue’s are and make them public and political. Be the voice care aides often can not be or that of their clients.

  22. Jacqueline Ringrose

    This problem of “”disappearing personal items ” seems to be rife My mother in a U.K care home
    suffers from the same losses. I used to make sure that she had the same quality of clothing and personal possessions that she was used to .but they slowly disappeard .of course it was always mother’s fault .Knickers ,T shirts. shoes (black ) ones were taken or exchanged Hearing aids were swapped for ones that didn’t work, for mother’s one that did, she now has to go to have some new
    ones .as they are made to fit the owner . A good watch was swapped for a piece of broken rubbish’and now I have just found that her own T .V has been taken and replaced by an older ,smaller one
    Of course these items are never found,????????????? and I wonder if it is now time to start
    invoicing the care home for the cost of replacing ALL the items large or small.
    I think property goes on the missing list, because it is assumed that the owner of said items will
    not realise that they are no longer there, or have been exchanged .Put down to their having
    Dementia. or too old to notice
    I do now have a written list of all her clothes and shoes which is pastd to the inside of her wardrobe
    door, which I do upgrade, and write on it items that have “gone missing “

  23. Ron

    I am charged with the oversight of 31 Skilled Nursing Communities for Housekeeping and laundry, and have been researching this issue at length. I have been looking at RFID technology and think it will be some sort of tracking system like this that will be the solution. I would love to say that this system is fool proof, but items not tagged will still fall out of sight. I think if we could get the tags down below a $1 and the three of four RFID readers under a thousand dollars. We need to be able to locate items and prevent them from being unintentionally thrown away, or laundered. I would love to extend this to the tracking to the personal clothing and the miss deliveries we all know happen.

    How much of this cost to long term care would you family members willing supplement?
    Some estimates I have received topped $60-70K, I think I could program something basic for $10K.

  24. J Hobson

    I am a patient in a Nursing Home in Newcastle NSW Since coming here many of my new clothes some still unworn have been stolen. Perfumes, ornaments , money have been taken . The Manager says she will investigate. In the meantime locks on the doors Management supplied, have keys. Where to put the keys? I wore a key around my neck, on waking key is gone and I find it in a neat little pile in my bed. More new clothes are stolen. Management does not care. Surveillance cameras should be around!. On speaking to others in different Homes I found they were suffering the same fate. Where has Honesty gone. If the Management ignore this situation would that be called a criminal act?

  25. Richard Jatel

    my brother is in middlesex nursing home In ONT and his new dentures are missing ; they told me they are not responsible as they consider them valuables in E.G. wallets ; gold chains ; radio or other things ; they also told me my brother may have threw them at staff which is total nonsense as he cannot even feed himself so how is he be able to throw things when he cannot lift anything in his hands
    how on earth can they consider dentures that one needs to eat with as valuables ;’ I am going to pursue this through my MP and write a letter to the editor column in Sarnia paper and London paper ;
    no one on earth considers dentures as VALUABLES

  26. Dolores Marsters

    if any of the lost items were in the inventory list at the facility, then the facility is liable to replace them.

  27. Princess Dianna

    Those who are running nursing homes where they allow the workers to not be responsible for the resident’s belongings are just plain wicked and inconsiderate. Their time and day will come. I know of a nursing home that ran their establishment on lies. When the resident’s clothing went missing after she died, they would not help the family in trying to find them. They gave the family the run around and was very rude to them. They did not even have enough sense to call the family member to have them pick up the clothing. They just got rid of them and when asked about them they did not have an answer. They tried to pass off some donated clothes to the family member as the resident’s lost clothing. This did not work because the family member was very active in the resident’s care and very much aware of the clothing that she brought to the nursing home. These people who work at the nursing home thought they were slick. Even after the family member wrote a four page detailed letter to the nursing home administrator in hopes of them helping to resolve the matter, they continued to string the family member along. The more the family member called to follow up with them, the more the administrator would not take the phone call and not return any messages. They did this because they thought the family member was stupid and would finally give up. Not so! The family member was hurt and very frustrated at the treatment of this nursing home, so she got other people involved in the matter and challenged this wicked nursing home to pay for the lost clothing.

    The family member has been compensated for the lost clothing, but the way they issued care to their family member does not sit well with them. This nursing home needs to be either closed down and let a new competent staff take over. The doctor who took care of this resident needs to be fired because he could care less about the residents. He is just a cold walking dead of a person, collecting his pay check every week. However, his wicked deeds are known by the creator and one day he will get what he deserves. The state needs to crack down on many of these nursing homes because they don’t really care for the residents and many of the nurses aides do not know how to care for humans. In fact, their attitudes are poor and they are abusive. They are not equipped or educated enough to do the job. Somebody needs to watch for these older people and people need to stop putting their family members in these places and not checking on the nursing staff to see how they are treating the residents.

    The government has got to do a better job in making sure that the workers in the nursing homes are equipped to do the job and that they care for the resident’s in an excellent manner. They have to start bringing penalties on these people who are treating the residents poorly.

  28. Doreen Jones

    Yes we have had the same problem. First it was her own wheelchair then it was her bottom dentures now both her hearing aids have gone missing. Not to mention since she has been in there 12mths
    She has had at least 15 pairs briefs and 8 bras they have all been lost in the wash.
    Mum will be 102 in August she has dementia can not walk alone and needs to be dressed and undressed
    As far as I can see she cannot be held responsible for her belongings.
    So whom is it upto
    They said that she can have another wheelchair at the cost to us of £145 her original wheelchair was only 9mths old when she went into the nursing home. Why should mum or her family be made to foot the bill. It really is exasperating.
    Thanks for reading

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