Am I being too particular about my husband's care in the facility?

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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

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Top Answer
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.

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
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.
Actually, yes that's true about glasses, Sunnygirl. Heaven knows I have enough trouble keeping track of my own!
Carol75, I have learned to set priorities and some things have to take a back seat.

I provide my cousin lovely outfits to wear in her Memory Care facility. I try to keep the outfits together, with pants and shirt on one hanger, so it's easy to dress her in the morning, but for some reason, they don't always follow the lead. I sometimes go in and see her in a shirt that doesn't really match the pants or in a dark colored shirt on a bright sunny day or spring looking shirt in the winter. I don't get it. I have asked them to please put her dressier clothes on her when seeing the doctor and to put her patriotic clothes on July 4, but......I don't think things like that are a priority there. The staff are quite busy and the most important things are health, safety and comfort. I have to accept that. I have to get over things like being fashionable. Besides, my cousin, nor any of the other residents have any concern about her attire. It's all in my mind. (She didn't concern herself with things like that even before she got sick.)
Angel - I agree with you. For me the exceptions to not making a fuss over, would be glasses, hearing aids, dentures and yes, shoes. Mainly these are custom items that very likely cost a pretty penny and aren't so easily replaced. In addition their use can be vital to quality of life. Shoes - can be very expensive especially if there is an orthopedic device involved and yes, as you said - could be a trip hazard. It is funny - odd funny, - about how these things disappear and reappear. From the beggining wash cloths were an issue at moms place. But no biggie - inexpensive to replace. But now after nine months every wash cloth my mother ever had has reappeared- I counted near 50 of them in her closet last week.
For a giggle, all of this talk about clothing disappearing and getting mixed up reminded me of an experience I had. I worked for the Forest Service and often worked with the Air National Guard on fire assignments. When I worked with them I stayed in hotels with the air crews. We had been out over a week and I let the Very Nice (unnamed) Hotel take my clothes and wash them. I was one of 2 women in the group. Well, they got mixed up. I was in the lobby giving them some clothes that weren't mine when one of the pilots, comes into the lobby waving one of my bras, yelling, "Mary!! is this your bra? I found it in my room". So, not all clothes mix ups are in Memory Care. Also, about glasses, is his prescription the same in both eyes, so maybe drugstore glasses would work?
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.
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.
At one LTC I worked at, it was shower night for one of my residents and right before I turned on the water, I saw she had her watch on. I to,d her I would put it in my pocket to keep it safe. She got her shower and took her back to her room to watch tv. I went about my shift, we had very little idle time. About an hour or do later I go into my pocket for something and found her watch. I went straight to her room and I said I have your watch! She was so happy, she thought she lost it, I said no, I forgot to give it back...
On a personal note, my mother has moved from AL to LTC last week. I donated her furniture and when I went into her apartment, I found her hearing aid that went missing back in April when she went to the ER. It must have fell out of her ear and down through the cushion..

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