My mother in law is in a nursing home now for 2 weeks. She has dementia and is in long term care. Every night she takes off her clothes and throws them out. We've talked to the staff about this three times but nothing has changed. We can't afford to keep buying clothes. What can we do?

You mean in a trash can in her room? This is what has always boggled my mind. They have been told about the problem and choose not to do anything like checking the trash first thing in the morning. But then, it may not be the same aide all the time. I suggest her trash can being removed from the room. Put a sign up, please check trash for clothing before throwing out. You would think, logically, when they see clothing in the trash they would question it. Just a thought, are u sure they are being thrown out or r the aides sending them to the laundry. I washed Moms clothes but still had aides sending her clothes to the laundry. Its the little things that bugged me. Mom had all her toiletries next to her bed. She was in a room of 4. Figured it was better this way then being in the same bathroom as everyone elses. I had a note to please use her brush and toothpaste. I continually would find those plastic brushes in Moms drawer that they used, when hers was in plain site. Their brushes made her hair fly away. Hers didn't do that. I even put a note on their brush asking not to use them use the one provided. She liked Crest toothpaste. They kept using the small tubes of Colgate. When she passed, aft 5 months in the NH, there was still a full tube of toothpaste.

Aren't they finding Mom with no clothes on? Or does she change. Maybe putting a clothes basket where the trash basket is. My Mom would go thru her closet and throw clean clothes in the laundry basket. At both AL and NH I would put Moms clothes together on a hanger. Pants, top eventually her bra. I found aides just grab clothes. They don't make sure they match. I started putting things together when I found her all mismatched. My daughter said Mom had no idea what she had on. I said exactly, her mind may be gone but she is going to look nice. I am OCD this way.
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Reply to JoAnn29
Ahmijoy Aug 1, 2018
I was thinking exactly what you wrote, JoAnn. My mother’s trashcan was so tiny, clothing in there was very obvious. The housekeeper may have thought it was torn or stained with fecal matter and someone threw it out on purpose. My mom would throw her stuff out the door and the staff started closing her door part way so no one got nailed when walking past her door. They did provide her with personal items when she threw hers out, but the combs were thin and broke.

There actually was no place for my mom to put her dirty laundry until I brought her a laundry basket. She understood that’s where her dirty laundry went.

I was always amused when going to visit visit her by seeing whose clothes she was wearing and who was wearing her clothes. Some people would be upset by that, but when I came in once and she was wearing jeans with rhinestone designs on the back pockets I giggled all day.
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Get a hamper and put it in the place of the garbage can.

Most seniors grew up with clothes hampers - I went back to using one when I found my nighties in the livingroom if I had to leave the house for a spell - my new pet was pulling them out there to sleep on if I had to leave the house. He had "separation anxiety" I was told when I adopted him. Now I just make sure I leave something he can drag to the livingroom if I must go out for an hour.

Anyway, get a clothes hamper for her to use and just place it where the current garbage can is. If the NH throws them out - make them replace them. They might even have or suggest what to use as the hamper. Mine is sort of a netting that folds up if I don't need it. Unobtrusive and no odors.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to RayLinStephens

The staff isn't doing their job. They are really the ones tossing them out no matter where she's putting them. Yes, go to the administrator.
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Reply to whaleyf

My mother also threw things away; her partial, her eyeglasses, toothbrushes, combs, even for crying out loud a bedspread!! It’s not unusual.

Someone from housekeeping empties the trash every day. Go to the housekeeping department and ask them to please, please take any clothing out of Mom’s trash and set it aside.

Alternately, buy her a large trash can (kitchen size) with a swinging lid for her room. Tell her this is for her clothes.
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Reply to Ahmijoy

What do you mean "she throws them out"?  Into a trash can?  Where is the trash can located--in her room?  Have you tried putting a laundry basket in her room or putting a plastic trash can in her room that is labeled "Dirty Laundry" for the nursing staff?

We need more information about the situation,  please.
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Reply to DeeAnna
Faithgram Aug 1, 2018
Apparently, she must be throwing the clothes in the small trash can in her room at night. This goes for underwear, clothing and nightgown. When we bought new clothes the nurses marked everything with her name. There is no laundry hamper in her room but I have one ordered --- it should come any day. It is marked "laundry". We do have a canvas laundry bag in her room but she says she won't use it And she wants it gone. Right now she has 2 outfits and 2 nightgowns. She wears the same thing and no one checks. I bought 3 outfits at Good Will and will bring them in. After that, they can put her in a hospital gown. If her nurse is ineffective, do we go to the administrator?
So sad this happens to people and they lose their cognition. As medical science keeps everybody alive longer, Alzheimer's is rapidly on the rise due to the ever-increasing elder population, that is, aging baby-boomers. Clothing is not cheap--have you tried filing a complaint with administration including an itemized list of what the nursing home discarded. Tell them you feel you are owed compensation.
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Reply to cetude
whaleyf Aug 3, 2018
I like your answer. Since she's already talked to them about this several times, they just aren't listening. Maybe if they have to pay for the stuff they will stop that. She does need to go "higher" up with this.
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Yes go to the administrator right away. In the 2 facilities my mother has been in all her clothing,sheets are marked with her name. If an item is lost or damaged a credit is applied. On another note I went to an administrator when I found out the staff member who was supposed to be helping her bathe told my mother she couldn't because she had a bad shoulder. I was irate and had her removed from helping my mother immediately. These people are paid to manage staff. It is really unbelievable they would constantly throw away clothing that needs washing from a resident with memory issues.
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Reply to Riverdale

In a nursing home the CNAs should be helping your mother get undressed at night and helping her with her nightgown or their hospital gown. So in my opinion they are the ones responsible for replacing all clothes thrown out because it sounds like they are not doing their job in the first place. You got to stay on top of every little thing. I would start with the supervisor of the CNAs, then go to the housekeeping supervisor and then to Admin and let them know you will file a complain with the state if they don’t respond.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Barb53

I think the person who suggested putting a clothing hamper in place of the garbage is a good Idea.

Also, can you check if the clothing she is tossing out is soiled?

Some elderly people are embarrassed that they can not hold their bowels as well as when young, so they toss their soiled cloths or hide them.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Heather10

Although my grandfather didn't throw out his clothes, when my mother gave him a change of clothes he would insist they "weren't his" which made the situation worse. (I'll have to ask her if she remembers how she dealt with this--perhaps by saying "I just bought you some new ones"?) I suspect this isn't the situation in your case, but it may be for others. One way or the other, it can be a challenge keeping an older person clothed!
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to jacobsonbob
jacobsonbob Aug 6, 2018
I asked my mother what she did when that happened, and she said she just waited a few days--and then by the next time my grandfather saw these clothes he accepted them as "his" again!
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