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The elderly couple is looked after by three private caregivers. Sometime in the past few days, a valuable diamond ring has disappeared off of my mother-in-law's finger. She is currently on medication which has her left in somewhat of a stupor and she would not be able to provide any details. One caregiver called to say the ring had gone missing. We are out of state and not sure how to handle. We suspect it was stolen by one of the three caregivers. My mother-in-law cannot go anywhere without assistance and has not been out of the condo. The ring never leaves her finger.

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It sounds like they have 24/7 caregivers and both have dementia. If the caregivers have been with them for a while, it's probably not them. If it was "taken", Pam's pretty spot on that it's family ( or a visitor or service provider). But I'm more in the camp that it's in their house and either it came off of her hand or one of them in a moment of paranoia hid it be "safe".

My mom in her 3rd (& last) yr in IL was constantly being "robbed"......the reality was she'd fall asleep & the rings (& watches) would slip off and embed themselves in furniture or under the span of her rocker. For more fun, she would unscrew flashlights and take the batteries out and hide jewelry & $ in them.

Really if they have anything valuable or special you need to go ahead and give it to family now.
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As a caregiver, I sometimes work private duty. I have full FBI fingerprints and state background checks to present to employers, DMV records, even drug screens. That having been said, I INSIST before accepting an assignment that the family REMOVE valuables from the home such as jewelry, etc. esp. if an Alzheimer's patient is involved. I once had a client put a diamond ring in the freezer and almost lost my job over it until one day the son found it looking for ice cream! I recently had a situation where a home I worked in had a family member leaving cash out in the open. Maybe it was a test? Well I'll never know because as soon as I saw it, $500, I alerted a family member and told them UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES will I continue to work there if money is left around the home, period. I am given a cash allowance for any purchases, keep receipts, and change is kept in a lock box. Don't assume all caregivers are as honest as me, though. If it would break your heart to have anything go missing...lock it up!
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FF and Maggie make good points. There's no real way to prove that it wasn't lost by accident, there's no way to prove any of the caregivers took it, and the police can't search their homes without probable cause, of which there is none.

If the police do anything, it would be to interview the caregivers, which will likely make them feel embarrassed, wrongly accused and resentful. They might even ask for different assignments, and I wouldn't blame them.

It bothers me when someone jumps to a conclusion that the "hired help" is guilty of something just because it can't be found.
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Kadeem?? OMG.

Ladee.
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Kadeem, I couldn't disagree with you more.
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I don't mean to be mean, but this is the family's fault. The ring should have been removed. You cannot prove that any one particular caretaker took it . . Or that ANY of them did. Your MIL may have flushed it down the toilet. OR, AS Pam said, a relative may have taken it.

Nothing valuable should EVER be left unprotected in a situation like this.
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robw, when was the last time you had visited your in-laws, since you live out of state? Maybe Mom-in-law had lost some weight thus changed her habit of not wearing the ring, maybe she put it away for safe keeping only she knows where it is. Or it had slipped off her finger and got bumped under some furniture.

I would recommend you personally go to go over her house with a fine tooth comb before saying that the ring was taken. Meaning going through all her clothes, even her shoes, checking around the bedding, under the bed, mattress, checking all her dresser draws, if there are throw rugs look under those rugs, check all the jewelry boxes, hat boxes, pill bottles [good hiding place]. Even look each inch in the kitchen.

In fact, since Dad-in-law has Alzheimer's maybe he put it away for safe keeping.
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Please follow your instincts here and call the police... if it shows up at the house somehow, ok, then off to the safe deposit box, if not... let the police handle it.... I am a paid caregiver and this is one of my worst nightmares.... but I have some very strict 'Cover my Ass' rules..... have been doing this for many years, and families get aggravated sometimes if I won't go digging around in dresser drawers or closets for something they 'think' might be there that my client needs... THEY have to come search for it.... I will not..... so let the police handle it.....
If in fact one of the caregivers did take it.... then file charges.. do not let this go... it will go on a background check..... Elders are vulnerable enough without someone stealing from them... please keep us updated....
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FIL has mid-stage Alzheimers. Asking him will be of no use unfortunately. We recently asked MIL to let us put ring in safe deposit box and she refused. We fear it was taken off her finger at night when she was asleep.
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Given that your MIL was "in a stupor", can you be assured that she didn't in fact remove the ring herself, even if that isn't her policy when she's coherent?

Have you asked your FIL? I would at least do that before making accusations to the police.
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No other relatives down there with them. I think we'll be calling the police. We have let them know that we'll be getting them involved. Three days now and it's not turned up.
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I hate to say it, but my first suspicion falls on a relative, not a caregiver. Who had their eyes on that ring?
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If the ring is valuable I would turn the matter over to the police, they have the resources to investigate. Perhaps if you mention to each of the caregivers how upset you are and that you will be calling in the authorities the ring will be 'miraculously found' before the investigation gets underway.
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