What do we do about items being stolen in a highly rated assisted living facility?

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My mother had 1 piece of jewelry, a watch. Not expensive but high sentimental value. Its gone. The facility said they searched, but no luck. When I mentioned maybe I should file a police report, 4 tabs were broken on her 02 tanks that night with no explanation. I feel like its easy to steal from the elderly & blame age for the missing items. I feel like the administration covers the theft. I feel like there is retaliation is you try to do something about it. I feel like they just want me to put up with it and not say a word. Why should this be ok? Is there any legal action I can take without backlash on my mother?

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Cashichan, by chance does your Mother have Alzheimer's/Dementia [your profile didn't indicate any what medical issues]? If yes, it is common for patients with memory issues to gave away their things to other residents who adore another person's piece of jewerly or clothing, and common for other residents to wander into another person's room and remove an item that catches their eye.

Things can also get lost under the beds. One time I couldn't find my Mom's eyeglasses, I looked everywhere. One day I brought in a small flashlight and looked under her mechanical bed, and lo the eyeglasses were under the bed in an area leaning against one of the metal bases. Because of all the mechanical stuff under that bed, it wouldn't be like housekeeping could wash the floor and find the glasses. Same with dressers, hampers, clothes pocket, etc.

As for retaliation, I really don't think an Assisted Living, nursing home, or long-term-care facility employees have time to even think about revenge.
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I think your only recourse is to not have valuables in your mom's room. In all my years of dealing with facilities theft has always been a problem. I think it's usually the employees who steal from the residents but who knows.

You asked why this should be ok. It's not ok. It's illegal and unethical and immoral. It's stealing from a vulnerable adult and it stinks. You've reported it and that's all you can really do. The items are gone. I know it hurts. It hurts to be the victim and it hurts to know your mom's special belongings are gone. I don't think it's the other residents who steal. Theft is sneaky and slick and has to be done quickly and at the right time and most residents of a long term care facility just aren't smooth enough to pull it off. They're conspicuous if they wander in and out of other people's rooms. Staff however move in and out of the rooms constantly. They can do a quick scan 3 or 4 times before they decide there's something there worth stealing. The next time they're in the room it takes all of 3 seconds to grab something. It's almost like a culture of theft because it's so pervasive in every facility.

I'm sorry about your mom's things.
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Unfortunately with an item the size of a watch it would be almost impossible to track down the thief let alone recover it, even with the best of intentions. Everyone knows that theft happens in facilities, that is why new residents are usually advised not to bring valuable (or highly sentimental) items, so I can't see there would be any reason for them to "push back" based on that alone.
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Just on the issue of the tabs on the oxygen tanks - my experience is that the tanks have a plastic band around them, with a removable tab. This is done after the tanks have been refilled.

I'm not sure what purpose the tabs serve except to indicate that the tank is full. For all the time I've used them, I've never seen that removing them causes any harm.

Are these tabs what are being removed? If so, I wonder if someone's just preparing them for use, or not thinking that removing them could cause issues.

Are there any other issues of retaliation?

Unfortunately, theft does occur. My aunt was upset by things that were stolen from her.

I don't condone theft nor do I feel that saying nothing and letting it go is the way to proceed. But, realistically, and sadly, I'm not sure how much can be done when people are living in a literal group type situation.

Is there anything in your mother's room where she can hide her valuables? Something like a locked box used to store valuable papers?

Another way to handle this with the administration is to ask them what can be done to ensure that no more of your mother's possessions are stolen. Turn the tables on them and ask them to come up with solutions.
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