Mom doesn't have her teeth in! What to do?

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My three sisters and I like the nursing home Mom is in. The building is old, the rooms are small, but for the most part the care has been excellent. There are people who have been on staff a long time, and many whose aunt was there in her last years or who visited their neighbor here for years before they came to work here. There is a sense of continuity. And the social programs are creative and appropriate.

So we like it. Mom is content.

But five times in the past month Mom did not have her dentures in when we arrived. We visit at different times and we've made this discovery even late into the day, when she has had 2 meals already!

This is vacation time and there are probably a lot of staff switches. But shouldn't her daily cares be clearly written in her chart? Shouldn't an aide knew to her look at that list? And even if there isn't a list, when you see that someone has no teeth, shouldn't you look around and see if there are dentures soaking? (Mom has dementia and is of no help in reminding an aide.)

What would you do?

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My mother is wheel-chair bound and could not take her dentures out and put them back in their case, where they always have been in these cases. She puts them in willingly when we notice and says something like "I wondered what was wrong!" I know she is not taking them out and I sincerely doubt she she is refusing to wear them. We would have gotten a call about that.

This is a case of the morning aide not putting them in. We could talk to the aide directly but only one of us can be there mornings. And while Mom usually has her "regular" aides, there are more than one to cover the week, and then there are subs and fill-ins and new people. It would not be a single conversation.

I'm going today. I hope her teeth are in!

I'll keep you posted. Thanks for your input!
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My mother has refused to wear hers for years.
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Sandwich makes a lot of good points. Given that the care thus far has been satisfactory, I wouldn't make a mountain out of a molehill.

It might even be that your mother just took them out.

So I'd approach it on 2 levels:

1. Follow Sandwich's suggestions to determine if there are reasons other than the staff not putting them in; and

2. Casually discuss it with a staff level person first to see if you can work out a solution. If the staff, or someone at that level, isn't responsive, then start working up the chain of command.

But you probably know that if someone is reprimanded, that could affect the working relationship between her/him and your mother.

And I love the idea of a funny sign! Maybe you could find a copyright free photo of dentures, enlarge it and add something amusing such as "don't forget to put me in - I like Mom's mouth!"
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It could be lots of things that aren't obvious or intentional.
I'm just brainstorming here...

Maybe she doesn't like the way they feel anymore and won't let anybody put them in. Or takes them out and loses them.

A mouth sore nobody has seen?

Fit has changed

A tiny crack or something that's hard to see but annoying in the mouth

Doesn't like any aftertaste from cleaners or the adhesive. That adhesive is gross, having used it on some Dracula fangs last Halloween.

Doesn't understand what they are or why people want to put them in her mouth.

Just doesn't want to do it anymore. May not be able to explain why.

If the plates are present, clean, intact, and available to her, I'm not sure what else to do.
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Correction to post above. Meant to say that I have NOT been impressed with staff responding to signs.
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I have been impressed with staff responding to signs. I wish that were different. I think what gets their attention is a real focus on the matter from their supervisor and fear they will get in trouble if the matter is not taken care of properly.
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I agree with the idea of a sign, possibly a whiteboard so you can change messages as needed. After my mom's disastrous respite experience it was pointed out to me that staff often can't take the time to read charts, especially now that they are computerized and the terminal may be in use. Having info about her ADL's where it can be seen at a glance can't hurt. If you are creative you could include a joke or inspirational message that you change once in a while, that way even regular staff will make a habit of glancing at it!
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I can relate. I'm happy with my cousin's Memory Care, but there are issues. You have to wonder why some things happen. Like I have found her wearing a much too small bra that wasn't even hers. ???

I'm not familiar with nursing homes, but I think I might ask to talk with day supervisor. I would explain what you've seen and ask for why this might happen. Does she resist allowing someone to put them in? Does she take them out herself? Just see if they know why this is happening. And based on that ask them to come up with a plan to ensure that it doesn't continue to happen. Then I would make unannounced visits to ensure they were following through. I might follow up with a letter reminding them of the plan and how you hoped it would remedy the matter. If it continued, then I would take it higher up.
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First I would make sure that my mom had her denture supplies. The adhesive, the container they're kept in, and are the dentures still in there? If so, find her nurse and ask if your mom is having a problem with her dentures. Maybe your mom is pulling them out. If there's no issue like that let the nurse know that you prefer that your mom have her dentures put in everyday. I would also inform the tech since the techs do most of the work. You may have to have this conversation several times before you see results.

You can also put up a sign in your mom's room where staff will see it. It could say something like:

"PLEASE MAKE SURE ___________ HAS HER DENTURES IN EACH MORNING. THE SMITH FAMILY THANKS YOU." And then draw a little smiley face.

This is what I would do.
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I might also make a large cheerful sign to place over Mom's bed "Put my teeth in, please!"
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