How much theft goes on in ALF and is there recourse?



Chiming in on the mention of jewellery: please do not leave jewellery with your loved ones unless they are capable of removing and cleaning it themselves/the nurses will do it for them. Earrings and rings must be cleaned regularly or they will collect dead skin and bacteria, causing infections and rashes. As a jeweler I see what gets cut off residents in homes (rings get swollen on and need to be cut off) and it's stomach churning/a health risk most people ignore.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to OneLastStraw

It happens, but I think that more is lost than stolen. I convinced Dad to leave everything of value in my home. As a result, he feels unburdened about potential theft. He even leaves his door unlocked. He has an old-person cell phone, an older style desktop computer, one credit card that I monitor and about $50. I worry more about the hearing aids, two of which have gone permanently missing.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to jjariz

Things will go missing. That is a given especially on a Memory Care Unit. freqflyer has some great ideas. Remember to label EVERYTHING: clothing, socks, shoes, underwear, glasses, books, bedding/quilts, etc., where the label can be easily seen PRIOR to taking to the facility. Expect dentures and glasses and hearing aids to get wrapped up in Kleenex or napkins and thrown away. Don't leave hearing aids with loved one--bring those with you as they won't get replaced if lost.

Don't bring jewelry for loved one to wear daily...they don't need any. If your loved one MUST have jewelry, bring cheap costume jewelry. If the person has pierced ears, provide cheap, simple earrings that won't poke the resident while lying on their side sleeping. Bring jewelry (and special/fancy/dressy clothing) when you want the resident to wear it at a special event or party and then take the jewelry (and clothing) home with you after the event or party.

If your loved one loses an item, notify Nursing and Social Service Departments immediately so that they can fill out a report and notify the other departments to look for the item. If clothing gets lost, talk to the Laundry Department and go through their box of unlabeled clothing.

Walmart has Kids Clothing Labels of various sizes that you can buy in their office supply aisle. Use a Sharpie pen or a Laundry Pen to label clothing or other items. If you put an address label on radios, vases, etc., cover address labels with clear tape as it protects the label from water & helps keep the label on longer.

I have a 3 X 5 spiral notebook in Mom's dresser drawer & I write down everything that I have brought to her. I also have the list on my computer.

Unless your loved one uses an IPad or IPhone every day, don't bring them. A simple flip phone or a portable phone is good enough or your loved one can use the portable phone from the nurses' station.

Hope that this information helps.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to DeeAnna

In mom's IL, nothing ever went missing. Over the course of 4 years in her NH, a couple of pairs of slacks (probably lost in laundry) and an angel statuette went missing. The latter was probably pinched by her mentally ill, hoarder roomate. NH sincerely offered to replace all items missing. We didn't bother.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

Lilina, my Dad lived in senior living for almost a year, and he had zero problems with anyone taking anything he had. But then again, not many people have interest in 70 year old physics and farming books :)

But I have read that this can happen in Nursing Homes/Memory Care, and in Assisted Living/Memory Care. Usually clothes are misplaced, lost in the laundry, or given to another person. Jewelry is missing, either picked up by another resident or your love one happily gave that resident the jewelry as a gift. With all the residents in that wing with broken brains, things are going to happen.

Recourse? If you know it is going to happen, don't have valuable items in that love one's apartment. Trade out the good jewelry for costume jewelry. Clothes will be missing, that's a given. I read where some relatives will buy clothes for their love ones from Good Will or other second hand store. Nothing wrong with used clothing. Get a laundry marking pen and put the love one's name on the label.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to freqflyer