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When my husband was admitted to this place on 10/5/2020, he had his glasses and his upper and lower dentures with him. This is shown on the Inventory Sheet, along with several other personal items that are also missing.

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I am an Administrator in a facility. I am going about my morning's work when a relative calls me and demands to know where her loved one's dentures are.

I would consider it the height of professionalism to refrain from answering "how the heck should I know?"

Instead, of course, I would say I was very sorry to learn of this problem, that I would try to found out what had become of them, and that I would get back to her by [time]. I would then set out to do just that - but it would be without any high hope of success.

I completely agree that keeping track of residents' belongings is an important aspect of good care; but in the spirit of give-and-take relatives should appreciate that it is not always easy. No Administrator, however experienced and dedicated, can prevent a resident from tucking his denture under a heap of mashed potato.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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I can see personal items such has clothes etc. getting missing but not glasses or dentures. That is so ridiculous.

Must not be ran by a good facility Admin.

Go straight to the Admin and ask where the belongings are.
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Reply to haileybug
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Shane1124 Nov 21, 2020
Haileybug it’s apparent you’ve never worked as a healthcare provider. I’ve been a practicing RN for over 40 years and have seen dentures disappear in every setting- hospital, long term care, rehab, AL. Geez, many times dentures are lost when a person is scheduled for surgery and before the patient leaves the recovery room. Family should step in and inventory those items and take them home until the person is put back in their room or goes home post-op. I remember this happened frequently. I’m not saying it’s ok if it happens but happen it does, even with the best intentions & staff oversight. Those items can disappear in less than 5 minutes.

My mother lost her hearing aide two weeks after we got it for her. No one stole that hearing aide. My mom had a habit of bunching up tissues in her pocket and she most likely inadvertently put her hearing aide in the pocket with the tissues and then threw them both away. Chances are no one wants to steal another person’s dentures either.

A facility staff cannot possibly be responsible for everything that goes wrong. You tend to blame staff first for everything.

While it is certainly undesirable for dentures and glasses to get “lost” it happens, and quite frequently.

We were lucky in that we bought insurance on her hearing aide and was able to replace it once for no cost. When she received the replacement this new one went missing as well. My brother and I always found it in her pockets, bed linens, chair, meal tray, etc. My mother couldn’t remember. To blame this on the staff being irresponsible is just plain wrong. Finally we took the hearing aide home with us each night or personally gave it to the nursing staff on our way out the door to keep until the next day. Ended up my mother hated her hearing aide anyway. She passed in 2013; her nursing home was able to return the hearing aide, her dentures and glasses back to me on her death. I kept the hearing aide to donate.

To think staff is responsible for a loss of such an item is just not fair. What would you propose as a solution to this very very common problem? Staff cannot possibly know when that resident took their dentures out and where the resident placed them.

It’s not “ridiculous” nor poor administration, as you responded. Of course it’s not optimal but you can’t subscribe to pie in the sky ideas that it is only the staff or the administration’s fault.

Almost all LTC centers will state up front they aren’t responsible for lost items like dentures or glasses. How could they possibly police this and assure it won’t happen? They cannot - and it is “ridiculous” to not recognize this. Thus they cover their bases by writing it in the admission agreement.

What’s your solution?
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For some reason, after a person enters a LTC facility, their eye glasses, dentures, hearing aids, or other small personal items, etc. have a tendency to "grow legs and walk off". Where, Oh Where can they be? Who knows?!? 😡 🙎

This is a common dilemma that many LTC and Assisted Living facilities have, and as a result, many facilities have a clause in their admission agreement that states that they "are NOT responsible for lost or misplaced glasses, dentures or hearing aids". A LTC facility could go out of business just replacing all of the items that get "lost" or "stolen" or "misplaced".

I can not tell you how many times various residents' personal belongings have "disappeared". It is similar to the mystery of the "missing sock". Often the resident can no longer remember "where" they put their eye glasses, dentures, hearing aids, etc. I also have known of residents who "hid" their dentures or glasses.

Sometimes residents will take their dentures out after they are done eating and put them in the paper napkins. When the staff cleans off the tables, the dentures get thrown away with the dirty paper napkins.
Or the dentures or glasses or hearing aids get put away in a "pocket"--but they either slip out of the pocket or they slipped between the clothing and side arms of tthe person's wheelchair instead of going into a pocket.

Flip cell phones are another item that goes missing. I gave Mom a small purse on a lanyard for her flip cell phone because it kept falling out of her sweater pocket.

Then there are the "wanderers with sticky fingers" such as the one mentioned by Beatty. Many times these people do not remember or understand that they are taking something that belongs to someone else.

Yes, it is extremely frustrating for you (and for the facility staff). Rarely are the items stolen intentionally--unless it is a pair of earrings or a watch or an item that a visitor or family member or staff member would/could wear. And it is even harder to find the culprit who "stole" the items.

Maybe if you provide a small waterproof "purse" that your husband's new dentures can be placed in after he is done eating, he might be less likely to put his dentures in a napkin. Most facilities put the resident's dentures in a denture cup in their bathroom at bedtime.

As to his glasses, you might need to attach them to a "chain" that hangs around his neck while he is wearing them. And then provide a eye glass holder on the overbed table or night stand so that the nursing staff can make sure that your husband's glasses are put away at bedtime.

You will most likely have to purchase replacement dentures and hearing aids, as most facilities will not do so.

If the missing items are clothing, then they are most likely is the laundry room--espcially if they did not have his name on them.

The best thing that you can do is to LABEL EVERYTHING that you take to your husband in the facility and make sure that it is added to the inventory list. Also keep an inventory list of your own so that you know what you take to the facility and what you bring home while your husband is in the facility. It might not prevent the disappearance of an item, but it will prove that your LO had the item.
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Reply to DeeAnna
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Hopefully the facility can do room searches - especially the main wanderers' rooms. They may have collected *their" glasses & teeth...

I remember a gentleman who jangled past me in a hospital corridor once. ?? I took a look at him. Bathrobe pockets weighed down & bulging. Hmm. Nurse in Charge emptied out all the mens watches & wallets he had collected going room to room. Apparently it was a favourite pastime in the wee hours when the owners were sleeping. Oh boy! What a job matching them all up to owners!

So very very annoying & costly. I'd try claiming on insurance or asking facility to pay.
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Reply to Beatty
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So...

You asked the SNF to account for your husband's missing property. And they replied... what?

When was there last a documented sighting of his dentures? The facility ought, really, to be able to tell you that because it should be in his daily care notes.

What do you want them to do? If they have looked and the items can't be found, do you want them to pay for replacements? - If he hadn't had them for very long, will it be possible to reorder your husband's denture from his last impression/fitting?

I'm very sorry for the stress and frustration of all this, only do focus on getting it solved rather than "punishing the guilty." E.g. it really isn't very likely that someone would intentionally steal dentures - what earthly use or value could they have for another person?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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