Jewellery - Advice Welcome

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by RobertE, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. RobertE

    RobertE Registered User

    Jan 10, 2008
    Can anyone advise me of the best way to deal with my mum's repeated requests for her jewellery (engagement and eternity rings and locket)? Thus far I've dodged the issue by saying that I've forgotten to bring it/came out in a rush/had other things to bring and it got left behind etc. etc.

    I'm torn between giving mum what is rightfully her property but equally torn that if I do and the items go missing (and having spoken to others with relatives in care I have learned that this is, sadly, all too often the case with items of this nature) of the distress and stress this will cause mum.

    If anyone has faced a similar situation and has any words of advice I would be most grateful.
  2. andrear

    andrear Registered User

    Feb 13, 2008
    Hi there
    Sorry but I have no advice as my dad is not in a NH, but I am sure there will be others along soon who will be able to give you some sound and good advice.
  3. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Hi Robert

    Ah, jewelry...

    My Jan has lots of lovely things - the engagement ring I bought her, etc. She was a great one for nice valuables to wear.

    Ever since Jan has been in the care home she has been beyond asking for it, fortunately.

    To be frank, in the best of homes, it wouldn't last a minute, and it would never truly be known whether things had been flushed down toilets, hidden somewhere, accidentally lost, removed by staff, removed by other residents, removed by visitors, given to someone - anyone - by the person concerned.

    I think the "I have put your valuables into a bank vault for your protection - you wouldn't want to lose it/them, would you?" ploy might be good, quickly moving on to something else..

    Alternatively, your quoted dodges you have already used seem pretty good to me.

    So sad to have to do it, though. :(

    ROSEANN Registered User

    Oct 1, 2006
    Dear Robert
    When my Nan was in a home I was given her rings and necklace to bring home as she kept taking them off,and when she asked for them we brought a cheap locket that looked like hers and the same with her ring.
    She was happy with this but they were lost within a few weeks so we were glad we had not given her the real ones.
    She of course forgot about them in a few weeks so the problem went away.
    Hope this helps
  5. helen.tomlinson

    helen.tomlinson Registered User

    Mar 27, 2008
    Dear Robert

    It would be a shame for precious and perhaps valuables to go walkabouts, so what about charity shops and car boot sales and stocking up on things that your mum might like. It might be worth a try and you won't have spent a fortune in the process.

    Love Helen
  6. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Hi Robert

    I agree with everyone else. Please don't take valuables in to the NH, they'd be almost certain to disappear, and I'm sure the NH would refuse to take responsibility for them.

    Is your mum likely to be fooled by cheap replacements? If so, that would be the best solution. I think the engagement ring is likely to be the most important to her, and if it's a standard diamond ring, you should be able to pick up a fairly cheap fake -- Argos has a range of cheap jewellery. It might be a bit shiny, but you could tell her you've had it cleaned for her.

    Otherwise, you may have to keep fobbing her off!:eek:

    Good luck,
  7. Mameeskye

    Mameeskye Registered User

    Aug 9, 2007
    This was a question we considered. My brother was all for replacing them with fake jewellery but at the time Mum moved into the home she still knew enough to know what was hers.

    I decided that if it made her ahppy to keep her jewellery then so be it. Yes, her engagement ring, in particular, was valuable but it was hers and I did not want her distressed.

    She wore it for over 4 years in the NH until earlier this year it fell off. Her wedding ring had fallen off earlier and the staff had kept it safe in the home, but they handed me the engagement ring as soon as I walked in.

    She did not appear to notice that it was missing until 3 weeks before she died when she mumbled burble ring to me. I said "Engagement Ring?". She responded "yes, where is it?" quite clearly. I told her that it was safe at my home and did she want it, but she was happy when she knew where it was.

    That was the last night I ever had a moment's lucid conversation with my Mum.

    For me, leaving her rings with her, despite their value, was more important than distressing her. I knew that there were a variety of ways they could disappear, and most likely it would have been lost by her, or "collected" by another resident, rather than stolen.

    If however you have family heirloom jewellery or many items I think I might have felt differently but these were Mum's rings, given to her by my Dad and worn throughout her life. She would have been naked without them. At the time Mum went into the home we could not find her jewellery at home anyway, as in her demented paranoia she had hidden it too well. Luckily we shook out a blanket when cleaning the house out and found it, a fact for which I am eternally grateful.

  8. susiewoo

    susiewoo Registered User

    Oct 28, 2006
    Bromley Kent
    I didn't remove Mums rings when she went into hospital and she lost one she had had for many years. I decided to remove her engagement and wedding rings for safe keeping.
    I have a small film box that i carry in my handbag and try to keep a supply of rings to give to Mum when she loses the current one. Places like BHS often have sales and you can buy rings cheaply in diferent sizes. Claires Accessories is another good place for affordable things.
    Mum likes to have a ring on and panics if her finger is bare but doesn't seem to mind the type of ring.
    I found some beads recently and they have survived round Mums neck for ages....also makes her look finished somehow to have a bit of sparkle on.
  9. lesmisralbles

    lesmisralbles Account Closed

    Nov 23, 2007
    Take the real stuff away, replace with replica

    Sorry, but stuff get's misplaced or stolen.
    As long as MIL had thing's round her neck, she was happy.
    Like when she had a purse, we filled it with lot's of silver and copper, which she loved to count. And, I may add, give to other's:)
    Sat at lunch in the Nursing home one day (the nurse told us) a man was sitting opposite her, MIL, she passed him money, and she said, that is for your lunch:) I know you need it:) It was the princely sum of 10p.
    Barb & Ron XX
  10. fearful fiona

    fearful fiona Registered User

    Apr 19, 2007
    Hello Robert,

    I have a similar problem, particular my Mum liking to wear a watch. I have solved the problem by getting stuff from charity shops, to be honest she doesn't notice if it is working or not, it's just a comfort thing. She also likes to always have her handbag with her, so I put a few coins in a purse there and some (out of date) cards in a little wallet. Sounds a bit devious, but it keeps her happy. Fortunately when she was in hospital, the staff gave me her important jewellery (engagement ring) but funnily enough she hasn't asked for that, and her wedding ring is so tight it won't come off anyway!

    Hope this helps.
  11. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    Depends whether you mum would recognise her actual jewelery or not.

    If she does, you could try things like "it's being kept safe in the bank vault" or "you wouldn't want to wear or keep valuables around" or "it's against the rules for people here to have valuable like that in case they get lost or stolen"

    If mum doesn't know her jewelery, then the answer is to buy cheap fakes. It's probably a comfort thing, mum wants to have her things, and to be able to assure herself that she does. People with dementia can become deeply suspiscious of others and believe all sorts of fantastical things.

    If you don't produce them, then sooner or later you will be faced with accusations of stealing her things and selling them or something like that.

    It is quite possible that mum will be losing her things, giving them to othe rpeople, or hiding them in absurd places. Therefore, fakes are a good solution, because it doesn't matter.

    It would probably be as well to have replacements to hand, so that when mum loses them you can do a "search" and "find them" quickly.

    It's the same with money. A quantity of low value coppers or even monopoly notes will satisfy someone you could not trust with real money.
  12. merlin

    merlin Registered User

    Aug 2, 2006
    Jewellry in NH


    Had a similer problem.

    My wife lost an eternity ring and a watch after a few months at the home. The first may well have been an accident as the ring had become loose due to loss of weight and may have fallen off and been vacuumed up, but the watch was almost certainly stolen.

    Claimed for both on my "all risks" part of my house insurance and they paid up without a murmur less the excess. I bought a new ring a size smaller and put it on behind her wedding ring (which was very tight) and so far it is still there. Also bought a new watch which I put on every day and take home at night. Stupid exercise some would say but for the hours I am there she has some dignity back

  13. RobertE

    RobertE Registered User

    Jan 10, 2008
    Thank you

    Thank you all so much for taking the time and trouble to reply to my post and for your advice. Buying similar replacement jewellery seems to me the best route so I am going to try that.
  14. rose_of_york

    rose_of_york Registered User

    Mar 22, 2008
    Jewellery can also be a problem for people still in their own homes. My mother wears lots of it nowadays, something she never did when she was well. A six-stone old lady dripping in gold rings and bracelets must be risky, but she insists on walking about in it.

    She also accused me of stealing a particularly hideous charm bracelet which she has - of course it turned up when she found she'd put it in a different drawer from usual.
  15. mica123

    mica123 Registered User

    Apr 30, 2008
    i can sugest that you take the jewellery to your parents home and ask for them to be locked in the safe.get a receipt of course.if at any time your parent wants to see the jewellery then staff can acess it via the safe key holder.if your parent chooses to wear it,then staff will document it in their care plan,and you should be informed of this
  16. Debby Short

    Debby Short Registered User

    May 29, 2008
    Near Heathrow Airport
    I read this post Tuesday afternoon. Tuesday evening Ispoke with my Dad and he told me that mum's necklace was missing (she is in hospital has been for 6 weeks now, having assessments and meds controlled).

    My mum is half Canadian and I Bought the maple leaf necklace the first time I went to Canada in 1991. The staff have been great said they will do all they can to find it.

    But I told Dad about buying cheap replacement Jewellery, and he is going to do that and replace mum's wedding/engagement rings. Thank goodness I read this post on the same dad.

    I do feel slighly upset, but then mum isn't missing it and she did have 17 years of enjoyment from it, and that is what matters.

    Thanks for all the advice

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