Now that my husband has been placed in a facility, new issues arise. Is it to be expected that he would lose his glasses, have on other peoples clothing, shoes, glasses and personal items? He has been there almost two months now and it is a beautiful memory care facility. The staff are very nice, there are many activities, outings and a nice courtyard for walks outside anytime. I feel so fortunate to have gotten him in this facility. However, the issues with missing items is frustrating. For example, this week he had on shoes that were at least two sizes too big, shirts, belts, socks and most items he was wearing were not his. I saw one of his shirts on another person. I mentioned it to another wife and she said don't worry yourself with those things. There are 60 people there and it's hard to keep people from laying things around. She said at least he's fed, clothed and sheltered. Yesterday I collected some of the things and took them to the desk and said these are not his. I made him redress in his own clothes and shoes. But many of his things are not there. He squints and never has glasses even though I had another pair made. So,he has two pair of glasses floating around the place. Sorry to be so long-winded but I'm thinking I might need to chill and just forget it. I'm still trying to recover from the years of caregiving at home. Has anyone else dealt with these issues? Carol

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
I would say, yes and no.

Yes, in that it is true that material things matter less than the spirit in which your husband is cared for. This is true. It is *more* important that he is well treated, well fed, washed and dressed in clean clothes - whether his or somebody else's.

But oh for God's sake! I like MsMadge's comment that residents in memory care 'add to the mayhem' - don't they just! - but all the same. It is NOT all right that the housekeeping and laundry services can't figure out a reasonably reliable system. This is NOT beyond the wit of man. For example, it is hard to stop people mislaying odd items of clothing - a cardigan left on a chair, a shoe slipping off someone in a wheelchair - but it is not hard to check for a name and return the item to its correct room. And staff, no matter how low their wages, stealing from residents is not merely unacceptable but still criminal. Also disgusting. What kind of person steals from the helpless? Should that person be employed in their home?

A genuinely excellent continuing care facility depends on good leadership. I have seen it done in real life, and in my dream world I would have that Manager cloned and deployed worldwide. If residents' belongings go missing, if residents are dressed in a hodgepodge of other people's clothes, if glasses and purses and - it happens - dentures are lost, then the facility's senior managers need to get their finger out.

So. Yes: focus on what really matters. But no: politely and smilingly and above all laying responsibility where it belongs, persist. Do not willingly accept poor practice.
Helpful Answer (24)

Be happy you found a facility where your husband is doing okay
His glasses if he's nearsighted should be kept in the nurses med cart for safekeeping

My moms facility has 62 residents which imho is way too many - her things disappear all the time and some have never come back - she lays her purse somewhere almost daily but it gives her great comfort to have it - mostly strapped around her neck

I have her name on everything and it doesn't matter - residents come into her room and take off their clothes - her neighbor has the same first name and so more confusion -

Residents with dementia have few inhibitions - men walk around in their briefs and pee where they're standing - one man loves hats - men's or women's

Last night he was wearing another woman's fedora and she told him so - I tried to soothe her and said oh well it looks quite fetching on him and she replied it looked quite fetching on her - lol - mind you she wears her shirt inside out and since no one helps her at bedtime she sleeps in her clothes

I won't even go into teeth brushing and how often I find my mom bare bottom with no diaper - she's had 4 UTIs in as many months

When a deceased woman's pants showed up in her closet I gave them to the nurse and the next night they were back in her closet so I threw them away - they were 2sizes too small

Of course at the rehab facility every single thing I had in my moms nightstand was stolen - comb, jar of mentholatum, makeup bag, prayer book, toothpaste etc

Low wage staff stealing from the elderly is a huge problem but in memory care residents add to the mayhem
Helpful Answer (14)

I've never spoken to anyone who had a loved one in AL or Memory Care who did not have trouble with "items." I think it's normally due to haste with the laundry staff when it comes to clothes. I've never had any clothes mix up with one exception. The only items that I have encountered problems are bras. They are clearly labeled with her name, but seem to disappear. I now take photos of them and along with my receipts, request reimbursement. The director told me that they are responsible of any missing items and I should submit for reimbursement. That seems to have gotten better.

Another problem was eye glasses. The loved one may take them off and leave them anywhere in the facility. They have no idea that they even wear glasses, so keeping up with them is quite is futile. Sometimes they show up, sometimes they are broken. Sometimes her doll disappears, only to return weeks or months later. She likely takes it to other residents to comfort them or just lays it on their bed, forgets and leaves.
Since her care is good, I try not to focus on those things, but if it was really bad, I would.

I take photos of all shoes and clothes that I take into the facility and keep the receipt. Just in case.
Helpful Answer (13)

Yes. My mom has been in a nursing home since mid November and it started with her clothes. I have yet to see moms cloths on anyone else but every week when I straighten up her room and redo her closet - the staff is not good at putting her clothes away neatly and I'm kinda anal in that department- anyhow - there is always strange clothing. It's my routine that I now fold the mystery items and stack them in a particular spot and they disappear by my next visit. Often I'll later see the mystery clothes on a resident. To be honest - I don't really sweat it as the place is great other than that. Only once- I had given my mom three new nightgowns for Mother's Day and they disappeared in a week. I did complain about that - they reappeared two weeks later and haven't gone missing since. The only two things I'd freak over would be her glasses as she'd be blind without them and her hearing aides which are fairly new and were crazy expensive. Luckily- these items are always accounted for. I'd say - pick your battles but if I were you I'd mention the glasses as I imagine they probably cost you a bit.
Helpful Answer (10)

I wanted to add - don't keep anything in your husbands room that would bother you to "loose" - and nothing valuable. As far as clothes and shoes go - if you want to make sure they find their way back to your husband - use a black sharpie marker and clearly put his name and room number on the item.
Helpful Answer (10)

CarolC75, I think you would enjoy reading a book called "Creating Moments of Joy" by Jolene Brackey. For one thing, it would reassure you about how very common this is, and that it doesn't indicate a bad care facility.
Helpful Answer (10)

My husband has been in a skilled nursing home for over a year. He has vascular dementia. He refuses to have his hair cut or beard trimmed. He also refuses to take a shower. Staff claim that they can't make him. They have asked me to come down to talk him into taking a shower. When I do he always says that he doesn't have a problem, but then he refuses. What should I do?
Helpful Answer (9)

Actually, yes that's true about glasses, Sunnygirl. Heaven knows I have enough trouble keeping track of my own!
Helpful Answer (7)

I was in the Salvation Army store one day and a woman was buying a bunch of flannel shirts. She said quite cheerfully that Grandpa was in "X' N/H so she came to the SA about once a month and brought him clothes because his were forever going missing!
As far as glasses are concerned you can get pretty cheap prescription glasses on the internet so why not get a prescription and order a few pairs of the cheapest ones you can find and at least he would have something.
Stealing by staff is always a problem in any healthcare facility and of course is never right. If you leave it unattended it is fair game.
The idea of keeping receipts and photographing the item is an excellent one id the facility is willing to reimburse.
All very annoying but as others have said if your loved one is happy and well cared for bite the bullet and provide the minimum of cheap clothing needed.
Helpful Answer (7)

Parents were in three different facilities over the years, all after spending time in hospital and then to 'rehab' for a few weeks. Not memory care. I asked manager at the first place what type clothing to bring in...brochures showed smiling patients all neatly dressed, perfect hair. And he agreed that is what they all wear - not the Sunday best but next thing to it. Mother did not want staff doing their laundry so I agreed....every three days bringing back freshly laundered clothing, all CLEARLY MARKED with name and a Patient Belongings form filled out in detail. And staff put a huge orange sign on the closet doors - "Family Will Do Laundry". Second facility - same situation but it was a long trip and parents did not have a lot of decent clothing. By the third facility mother relented and said staff could take care of laundry. Disaster. By the third day I get a frantic call "we have no clothes!" Mother is wearing a hospital gown, no robe to cover her backside. Father had a beautiful expensive sweatshirt, one of the few items he ever bought for himself.. It was clearly labeled and staff instructed to not wash it...that I would do so. Sweatshirt disappears. Dad is more than upset. I asked to search the locked laundry room. Well, there is Dad's shirt hanging up. Staff claim no knowledge, no idea who owned it. I pointed out the name tag. Duh! Three days later, it's gone again, never to be seen. And it did no good to confront the owner/manager. He would disappear every time he saw you coming but sure had time to sweet talk with his favorite employees. Bottom line - all the talk about what patients wear and those fancy brochures is not true - it's just a promotional gimmick. Staff may be underpaid and/or overworked but that is no excuse for outright stealing. If the patients there had memory issues, I could understand it, but these were strictly acute care rehab.
Helpful Answer (7)

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter