Who is responsible if an aide breaks a patient's dentures while cleaning? - AgingCare.com

Who is responsible if an aide breaks a patient's dentures while cleaning?

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My sister had just starting wearing dentures when an aide, trying to be helpful I suppose, took her dentures to clean and proceeded to drop the lower plate breaking it in half. I don't know if it can be fixed or if it must be replaced, but it could be quite expensive and will involve several inconvenient trips to the dentist. Doesn't the nursing home have a commercial liability policy to cover employee mishaps? What will I need to do, other than give them a quote for the cost? It's already been more than a week since I started getting the runaround to talk to the Director of Nursing, Asst. Director, etc. etc.

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Thanks Eyerishlass - I'm sorry you had such a difficult time - I can see where it would be wise to pick your battles.

This is a big deal and unfortunately complicated by the aide saying nothing happened so there is speculation that my sister broke them herself. I'm afraid that even the slightest doubt will derail it all...it probably woulld have been better if it had been stolen (ha!) though then they'd say she misplaced it herself. It's hard when you can't be there all the time...
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When I read the title to your post I was thinking the aide was an in-home caregiver in which case I was going to suggest that the agency would be responsible for the cost of the repair. As you said, dentures are very expensive and an aide would probably not be able to afford to pay for the replacement or to have the plate fixed. But now I know this happened in a facility.

When my dad first went into a NH all of his clothes were stolen. I had bought him all new shirts (nice shirts too) before he went into the NH and they went missing within the first couple of weeks. We made enough noise with the social worker and the administrators that they agreed to reimburse us for the shirts. We gave them an itemized list of the prices and the printout of the shirts since I had bought them online. But in our case the cost was nowhere near what a new denture will cost to be replaced. But I think if you bang on enough doors and make enough noise you might be reimbursed but it's going to be like pulling teeth (no pun intended). You'll have to stay on them about this. Get an estimate in writing from the dentist and give a copy to the social worker at the NH, the administrator, and the accountant. This is what we did for my dad's stolen shirts. When we went through this I couldn't find anything in the paperwork from the NH that said they were not responsible for lost or stolen items however the powers-that-be told us initially that they were not responsible. But we kept at them and finally got reimbursed. We didn't get a check for the money. The NH said that the money could either go into my dad's personal account at the NH or we could give the social worker a very detailed list of what we wanted replaced and she would purchase the shirts online. After this being a huge issue with us for WEEKS we agreed to let the social worker purchase the shirts online. I gave her the website and my dad's size and the colors we wanted and they were shipped to my house.

When our loved one is in a nursing home they'll never receive the quality of care we gave them or the quality of care that we would give them ourselves and I had to make peace with that. And in the 6 months my dad was in a NH before he died I learned to pick my battles. It's an exercise in futility to complain about everything we find objectionable and it will make us nuts. In a NH our loved one's are just one among many. But a broken denture and the inconvenience of having it replaced, in my opinion, is worth the trouble of going up the ladder of the NH in order to be reimbursed. But check your paperwork and see if the NH has a policy on lost or broken items. If you don't have the paperwork ask for a copy, the NH will have one. And we always found that when we had concerns or a problem, starting out with the social worker was a good place to start. The social workers know exactly what's going on and they are fountains of information and resources.

Good luck!
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Argghh - I guess they all go to the same place so...any words of wisdom would be appreciated!
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Sorry - I see you have another forum that is more appropriate so I'll re-post there.
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