My 89 year old mom is in assisted living and has been on hospice for the last few months. The hospice group has truly been a godsend. Their involvement has given me some much needed peace of mind of not feeling so alone in managing my mother's medical care. I am so appreciative of their skills in dealing with my mom as well the practical and comfort services they provide. Everything was going smoothly until just a few weeks ago when supplies they provided kept disappearing. There were six boxes of gloves in my mom's room and in less than a week there were none. Hospice has a ready supply on them they use, so they are essentially used by the AL workers and only occasionally. So an instance came up when gloves really were needed, and not a single one in sight. This is so aggravating, and so inconvenient. On a recent Friday afternoon I discovered a large full pack of pull-ups had disappeared in less than 24 hours. Within 2 days after hospice sent a few more pkgs, only a partial pack remains.

Hospice today said several of the patients they have at this AL also had large number of supplies missing this past weekend. We have had our share of issues with the AL. But this is just so low it is infuriating. I am very grateful Medicare provides these much needed supplies to the ill. It is a gift, and removes some of the financial burden from the ill and their families. It is disturbing that this much needed service by Medicare is being abused. Management of the AL is aware, but they are lax in monitoring their aids in general so unsure if anything will be done to deter this problem. I am sure others have encountered theft of Medicare supplies in other care facilities. If anyone knows any ways in which to combat this, I would appreciate your feedback. Thanks

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Can you post a sign that says if you are taking these items for anyone besides mom it is theft and will be dealt with as such.

I would hide a camera, I know they frown on that, but thief's need to be caught and prosecuted. They never stop without being held accountable and even then it is highly likely they will steal again.

I hope you catch the culprit (s).
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal

An AL should not be taking your supplies. This is an expense of the resident. ALs do not supply diapers or wipes. Their aids should be using the gloves the ALs provide. Only Hospice personel can use what Medicare provides. I think the nurse for the hospice should be talking to the nurse at the AL about the theft.
I suggest you buy a cabinet where the items are under lock and key. Only leaving out what is needed.
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Reply to JoAnn29

There is a fair chance that this large number of supplies aren’t being taken for other residents, they are actually being stolen and sold. If it started fairly suddenly, a new staff member may be responsible. If you suggest this to the facility, they may take it more seriously.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen

You have some good advice already here. If theft for resale is suspected then removing the bar code and clearly marking the package with permanent marker that says "Not for resale, if someone is selling this to you then they stole it, please contact _____" put your contact information on it. The ideas for only leaving enough to last till your next visit is also good and certainly notify everyone all the way up of what is happening. When my husband was in hospital the nurses would often walk in and take supplies I purchased for use on him. This is lazy nursing, can spread disease patient to patient, and is against hospital policy for infection control. I started labeling the items as having been purchased by him so they would know this was not hospital property. Then, when that didn't work, I moved up to stronger wording.
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Reply to faeriefiles

Speak to the unit manager. The facility Director. AND your county ombudsman. Theft is unacceptable. And yes, it may be easier for caregivers to appropriate your mother's extra supplies srather than go through the effort it often takes for aides to get suppliesa they need, which are often kept locked up. (Ironic: we trust aides with the lives and well-being of our loved ones but the facilities don't trust them with supplies. )
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Reply to minstrel

I don't know that I have the best answer but I would report this as high up you can go with authority within AL. If you have the exact weekend dates that might help. It's not clear to me in your post if you have knowledge of thefts occurring from the same AL as the one you deal with or others in general. Of course it would be more ideal if there were incidents from the same one. I only had to go to the corporate level at the first AL my mother was in one time for an issue which was not at all theft related. It was an important issue and my call was returned quickly. That person then contacted the director of this AL. The issue was resolved very quickly. I hope you can get to the bottom of this. It is disgraceful that one more level of care should take such advantage. Please try all paths possible. I will hope for the best.
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Reply to Riverdale

It was my experience when my mom was in a memory care unit that things would go missing and other things would show up in her room that weren't hers. It's very common for the residents to wander into others rooms thinking that they are in their own. I would ask the staff to check others rooms. If they can't find the supplies, then you know it's theft.
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Reply to DetiaO59

I would go ballistic about this.

It could be some sort of scam going on, given how much is going missing. But if it weren't for that I'd suspect it's that the aides in that area have discovered a source of supplies that's easier and quicker for them to get to than the correct store - a bit like a commuters' rat-run suddenly opening up outside your house because of roadworks somewhere else in the town.

In any case the managers have NO excuse for not addressing this RIGHT now, and to good effect. Grrrrrrrr!!!
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Reply to Countrymouse

We have this type of theft at school, so labeling EVERYTHING is the only way to prevent it. When gloves come in, label the boxes “1,2,3 etc”... and label EACH Depends... in permanent marker with a name and number.
in child care centers, individual supplies (diapers, gloves, wipes, ointment,) are kept in a separate bin, CLEARLY labeled with the child’s name . If you need to lock the bin, do it. Just make sure you label it in marker.
This is so aggravating, as it affects all taxpayers who bear the brunt of paying Medicare in one way or another!!! Theft is no joke.
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Reply to Dadsakid
Rabanette Nov 17, 2018
More specifically, label the supples 1 of 8, 2 of 8, 3 of 8...and so forth. Put a log on the wall and keep one yourself. If the numbered items are missing then it should be obvious, but it's really hard when you are not able to be there.
People with memory issues just pick up stuff. It seems to be a thing with dementia and AZ.
You could put a security camera in the area where supplies are. You can choose to monitor it or not. You could even not connect it but then post a sign that security cameras are in place monitoring for theft. If you choose to do this get one that records motion with night vision. We use one by Zmodo.
And be sure the director of assisted living knows what’s going on and inform her of the security cam. That is what I would do. I think the threat of it being there might stop this or catch the culprit. It is so frustrating.
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Reply to Harpcat

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