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My mom’s clothes keep disappearing at her nursing home. I live in a different state or else I’d wash them myself. She is even down to one pair of panties! She is a plus size woman so finding affordable or discount clothing for her is very difficult. I’m at a loss as to how to help her from this far away.

One of my girlfriends who sews, machine embroidered a pretty design with her Mother's first name in the middle of the design on all of her outside garments. It is about 4" in diameter, you can't miss it. On the left side of all her tops and left leg above the knee on her pants. On her nighties too. She said she didn't have any problems after that. I didn't think to ask her about the underwear. I will do that next time I see her.
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Reply to MaryKathleen
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ImageIMP Jan 13, 2020
Good move, but not very practical to anyone else?
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When my mother was in the NH I had the same problem. I did buy my mother some replacement clothes, but sometimes the staff would recycle clothes from residents who passed on. The worst situation that I encountered was that a nurse took my mother’s athletic walking shoes, and wore them on the job! I recognized them and confronted the nurse. She said that she found them in the activity room closet and did not know who they belonged to. She gave them back.
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Reply to Ricky6
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When grandma was in the SNF, her clothes disappeared all the time. No one there told me, but there was a sign in the closet saying the family did the laundry. But the thing was that most of the time, clothes just didn't make it to the hamper there. I just assumed it was because they were so soiled that the CNAs cut them off and tossed them. She had a big boot on her foot and getting soiled pants off over that would have made that boot a mess.

I just made sure to bring a new outfit each day.
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Reply to needtowashhair
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When my mom was in rehab this happened to us and I did her laundry. She also had other people’s clothes placed in her closet.

I immediately went to the laundry room and found her blouse that was missing. There were signs stating that I did her laundry so they should not have taken her clothes to wash.

Someone suggested taking a photo of her clothes. I like that idea as well as her name in her clothes.

My godmother had the same situation as you do. Her son lived out of town. She loved pretty clothes. Her son bought her all new clothes before entering the nursing home. When I would go see her she would be dressed in rags. It broke my heart to see her in shabby clothes that didn’t fit her. She was tiny and the clothes would fall off of her.

She was an easy target for theft which happened often in her nursing home. She had Alzheimer’s and eventually went blind from her macular degeneration.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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I was thinking of having Luz's clothes embroidered with her name on them before she had to go to hospice. I was planning on the day she might have to go into a facility.
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Reply to OldSailor
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Mark all items with a Sharpie. And speak to the Ombudsman about the missing items.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Ah, yes, this was a normal adventure at the rehab center. My stepfather lost more clothes in three or four weeks than he lost in his entire life, all of them labelled. It was always entertaining to see what the staff might put on him instead. One day I came, they had him in mustard colored corduroy pants that fit him like tight pedal-pushers. That was really stylin' with his knee-high diabetic socks and size 12 black leather orthopedic shoes. We could tell they were probably his roomate's pants. I'm reasonably certain the several pairs of grey straightleg sweats he had are roaming the town on some husband or boyfriend of someone who worked in the facility, as I never found them in the laundry. The moral might be don't buy much that would look good "on the outside." The socks were a genuine emergency for us, as they were a specialty product to work with his knee-high braces, so they mattered greatly for skin ulcer protection. Fortunately, when he left there, I had an ace. The driver who brought him home left the beautiful fake-fur poncho with the facilities name embroidered on it, so I took it to the director and told her I was holding it for ransom until we got some socks back. Good luck! Maybe you can enlist an ally in town to go on a laundry retrieval mission every now and then.
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Reply to InItForGood
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Dad was in rehab after a fall and we had a similar problem. Although we labeled each item I finally had to visit the laundry room everyday to find his clothes.
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Reply to Frances73
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My moms AL employs a few aids who are immigrants and may not speak or read English easily. Perhaps you could come up with a way to mark your mother’s clothing with a color or symbol instead of her name. Maybe sew a color button on the outside of each item that is easy to see.
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Reply to Frances73
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Riverdale Jan 8, 2020
Thats a nice thought if an individual lived within a family but I don't think workers can expect to remember everyone's symbol. The facility should have a preferred method for labeling. At the facility my mother is in they have a labeling device for each resident. They label the clothes and return them. This is very efficient so much so that I can't check a size or maker as the label covers it all.
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you have to have someone go into the laundry room and look for her clothes. I hope you have someone in your mother’s town that can do this. This is a common problem when they wash their clothes. I hope her name and room # has been marked on all her clothing because if it hasn’t the laundry room people are not going to know where to bring the clothes back to. At times they will have a 1x/month where all the clothes are in one room so people can identify their clothing and get them back my mother’s SNF did this, but I went into the laundry room and found her things myself. It’s bad enough that they really don’t get all their clothes back when they are labeled I could never fathom if they are not labeled. I also had my mother’s clothing in there that she really didn’t want or were cheap because I know how this goes. I am glad I saved my mother’s old set of hearing aids as well, so if they got lost, I w/n care too much.
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Reply to Manson
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I have the opposite problem. When someone dies, the staff distributes left over clothes to the other residents after the grieving family has cleaned out all they wish to keep. It's interesting to walk in and see my mom in the dead lady's red vest, especially since my mom never wore vests and hated the color red. And my mom's closet gets to be such a mismatch of outfits I have to offer some of the "gifts" back.

This facility my mom is in is very small, so there is no way clothes can be stolen and undiscovered, but ladies do sometimes give their things away. Since they don't remember what's theirs the staff and families have to be on the watch.
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Reply to ArtistDaughter
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I agree with Nurse1956. Label and get pictures of everything. If they need to discard something, they should notify you and give the reason why.
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Reply to Taarna
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Do you label her clothing with a terminate marker before taking them to the facility? Does the facility add them to her clothing list? This is a frequent problem that occurs in nursing facilities unfortunately.

I suggest you take a picture of each thing brought into the home. Also take a picture of the labeling you put on each piece of clothing. Then I would take a picture of each piece of clothing along with a receipt of purchase. When a few things come up missing I would see the DNS or administrator and and present them with a bill for the clothing that is missing. This may ensure that they are keeping an eye on what is occurring with regard to laundry services. Insist on a room by room search for your relatives missing clothing. Often things are placed in other rooms. And, don't be afraid to rattle their cages over this sort of thing. After all the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
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Reply to Nurse1956
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Riverdale Jan 8, 2020
What a brilliant idea to take a picture. I can't believe I never thought of that. I plan to do that ASAP.
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Speak to the director of the staff who is in charge of washing clothes and say you are going to submit receipts for lost clothing. I did this and received compensation on the next months bill.

There are always problems with clothing issues. Yes as others have said all clothing should be labeled with her name. A facility generally has a system they prefer for the method of doing this. I know of items I purchased that were never seen again after a certain point. The problem there is that your mother would have to specifically remember the items in order to describe them. I check up from time to time on certain items. If there is an item my mother remembers well and it is missing she will drive staff nuts about it. At times the article of clothing shows up. I also have been reimbursed for an item that was ruined in the laundry most likely by having been washed by bleach.

My mother is also a plus size so I sympathize with you there. It is not at all easy to find clothing in those sizes that are also appropriate for the elderly.

You need to be systamatic with communication. While I don't hope all your mother's clothing remains missing you need to try to be sure this is really the situation and it is not a matter of her possible confusion.
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Reply to Riverdale
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Riverdale Jan 6, 2020
I just wanted to add another thought I first tried with some success when my mother first entered AL. I bought a large laundry bag that closes with a drawstring or zipper. They can be found at Bed Bath and Beyond or Target. I clearly labeled it at the top with her name. I told her to place her dirty clothes in it and close it. This may or may not work depending on the facility. At the least it should help with underwear and socks.
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Unfortunately this does happen a lot. I used to see my mom’s clothes going down the hall without her in them, on somebody else. This also included her house slippers. And, I was local. Every few weeks, I’d invade the laundry room at the facility and weed out my mom’s clothing from other resident’s piles. I took a Sharpie marker and wrote her initials on the collars or even sleeves and her room number. She didn’t care and where the clothing belonged was unmistakable. I also purchased her clothing at a thrift store, so if it got lost it wasn’t a tragedy. And, as an aside, I sent a big tray of cookies for the laundry staff at the Holidays as a thank you. A lot fewer of her clothes disappeared after that.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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Every pc of clothing should be labeled. Have staff check in roommates drawers and closests to see if laundry staff put them away wrong.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Just for starts, who is telling you that her clothes are missing, mom or the administration?

Who have you spoken to about this issue? Are her clothes properly labelled?

This is unacceptable. At moms NH, the laundry did the labeling and in 4.5 years, they only lost a couple of pairs of slacks, which they replaced.

Don't let ANYONE tell you that this is the norm.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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ImageIMP Jan 13, 2020
I think your situation is the exception and only wish all facilities were that organized - and caring! Sadly, I'd say that's obviously not the case and I don't know that it will ever get better?
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