Any tips on how to keep eye glasses safe?

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My cousin, who I am responsible for, is in AL Secure Memory Care Unit. She has advanced mixed dementia. She doesn't recall much of anything that happens 5 minutes ago. She is in a wheelchair, but able to scoot around pretty well. She loves her roommate and calls her her best friend, though she doesn't know her name. She's been there about 9 months. My cousin gets great care there and I have no real complaints at this time, except that my cousin's eye glasses keep going missing. They normally turn up in the belongs of her roommate, who also has advanced dementia and I'm sure has no idea whether she or my cousin are hiding the eye glasses.

I don't know if my cousin is the one taking them off and leaving them in her roommates area or if someone else does it. At this point, I don't know that it matters. My cousin does't focus enough to read or watch tv, but I would think she still would like her glasses to see better. Unless, I ask, she doesn't know she wears glasses.

I've thought about rigging them up with a string to her wheelchair, but that sounds dangerous. Any suggestions. How could you put a tracking device on them?

I have the option of having her moved to a different room, but she loves her roommate. They are two of the most verbal residents and I would hate to make her sad just to keep her glasses.

Any suggestions? This must be a common problem. Other things get missing too, but I don't sweat those things.

Answers 1 to 10 of 19
I think the tracking device idea is a great one. Unless just buying a multipack of el cheapo reading glasses would do the trick, I'd bet money that roommate likes the glasses and stashes them with her stuff all the time, just kind of not knowing any better any more due to dementia. Sometimes just a nice big name tag on a glasses-holder even if she otherwise would not need it might be respected too, but (YMMV) Your Mileage May Vary.
GREAT IDEA vstefans! I looked at that link and those are some good options. I haven't looked at the price yet, but at least I know there are some options.

Oh, she doesn't seem to need reading glasses. She doesn't read on her own, but if I ask her to she still can. But, seeing at a distance is her issue. I like for her to be able to look our of her window if she wanted to. It's a lovely scene with grass, trees, birds, etc. She doesn't seem to notice it though.
Top Answer
I have a feeling from what you've written that the glasses may mean more to you than to your cousin, since you say she doesn't seem to notice the view out of her room.

It sounds like she's happy and receiving good care. I'd chalk the glasses dilemma up to one of those annoying things that are just to be tolerated. I wouldn't consider moving her, since she likes her roommate. In those kinds of facilities, that's a HUGE blessing by itself!
Blannie, you may be right. I've thought about whether she really needs them. I put lovely wreaths to fit the season or occasion in her room as well as pictures of her with me and my parents. I hope she can see them.

When we were in the hall, I would point at things and ask what they said. She was able to read OFFICE and it was at least 8 feet away from her. So, I guess, I'll have to accept it.

If you read tips for helping your loved one with dementia be more comfortable, they always say to make sure they can see well and have their glasses available. I guess she sees well enough. She may see better than she has in a long time, since her blood sugar is very well controlled now.

The reason I think it might be her hiding her glasses, is that when I go to visit I find that she has placed her 2 baby dolls on the bed of her roommate. When I explain they are her dolls and show her that her name is written on the dolls feet and neck, she seems shocked. I also have found some pictures that I had posted on her closet door had been torn down, ripped up and hidden in her drawers. So, I think she may be doing it. Of course, she doesn't realize it and has no memory of it. She loves the pictures. I know it's just her brain is not working right.
As a pre-memory-loss person, I keep multiple backups of glasses.
You might consider getting multiple backup glasses from Zenni. I've had good experience there - there are other online vendors that I'm sure are fine.
You can buy them as low as $6.95 for prescription glasses, and they look great.
I keep a couple pair at work and at home.
These are wonderful ideas! I agree with Blannie, these glasses may have more meaning to you than to her. One of the things that happens pretty quickly with Alzheimer's is that their world "shrinks". They pay attention to what is within 3 foot of themselves in the mid stages and no doubt this is where she is. I would suspect that the only time her attention is drawn to things outside of this 3 foot would be by you, when you say look at this or that. Why not keep the glasses and bring them in when you are enlarging "her world" as ie is with these activities? Such a wonderful match of roommates and facility. What a joy to have such a story on this forum and blessings to you for looking out for your cousin.
I have been through this issue with my mom who has dementia and is in a NH. I worked closely with the social worker who helped develop a team approach to keeping track of the glasses! I put them on a cord that hangs around her neck and used a small label to label the side arm. I chose a cord that was meant for sunglasses and is a bright color (got from Dollar Store) so easy to spot. I also bought a sunglasses case from Dollar Store that we could write on in permanent ink. Put a note on the case to please put the glasses on medication cart at bedtime. Social worker informed all CNAs and nurses of the plan, which was to put mom's glasses on cart when she goes to bed, and then retrieve them from cart when getting her ready in morning. It took awhile to get the system in place but it has helped keep track really well. Best of luck!
Thats what I was going to suggest. That the CNAs take her glasses to the nurses station when she goesto bed. They did this with Aunts hearing aides. She kept changing the batteries because she thought aid wasn't working. For Elderly hearing aids are so hard to adjust for them.
All excellent ideas. I do have a pair of backup glasses for my cousin, but I hate to leave them. I may try some of the options here, but I'm not sure there is a need, now that I have thought it through. She doesn't look at anything that is more than a few feet away. I visited yesterday and see just how much she is declining. I took her a gift bag with a new shirt and pants inside. She had trouble knowing how to pull it out of the bag, so I helped her. I had to explain to her that it was a new shirt and capri pants. It was her favorite color, but it meant nothing to her.

I'm hoping they will put her back on Cymbalta. That seemed to make her much more content. Whenever I walk into her room she burst into tears. She tells me she loves me repeatedly. She seems to take comfort when I tell her that everything is okay and that I have taken care of all problems. There are no problems. She is just worried and upset, but doesn't know why. I explain that her medication needs adjusting and then she'll feel better. Of course, she forgets that within1 minute.

I am lucky she has a roommate who is verbal like her. As much as my cousin loves me and loves for me to visit, when I was with her in her room, she rolled away from me in her wheelchair over to her roommates side of the room and ask her if she was okay. I'm glad she's got a friend there.
Shoot--my HUSBAND loses his glasses constantly and he's only 63! He can't see well enough without them to find them, so I am on the search, constantly, I have sitting right here next to me an ad for "beepers" that you can attach to commonly lost items--it looks inexpensive enough I am going to order about 20 and put them on his keys, the remotes, the phones and all his glasses. Also going to do this for Mother. Her place is a hoarded mess, and she loses her remotes and glasses daily. I am hoping we can wall mount the "finding unit" as that might just get lost too. (When I worked in Elder Care I KNEW that Monday was always going to be spent primarily in looking for my client's glasses.
Your cousin is so lucky to have you--so refreshing to hear a story of caregiving that has love shining through it. Most of us struggle with the day-to-day..but you sound so upbeat and sweet. God bless you!

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