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Losing things in Care Homes


Registered User
Sep 5, 2014
First post here!
Mum has been in Care Home for a couple of months in a specialist dementia unit. Overall I am pleased with the standard of care, but mum is not at all happy there.

One problem is that things keep going missing: walking sticks, books, clothes, pens, you name it! Of course, I have labelled just about everything, and the staff are usually great at guessing which of the other residents might have walked off with her things and tracking them down again. I have to say Mum walks off with other people's things too!

Individual room doors are not locked. Keys could be arranged, but I can't trust Mum to look after them!

It's really disorientating for mum to find her things missing, and it upsets her. If I raise it with the care home, is there anything I could suggest they do?


Registered User
Mar 14, 2011
Mums things wandered and she ended up with it her peoples things, but the staff were great and knew who the magpies were, everything turned up, unfortunately there is not really anything you can do, just ensure nothing if value is with your mum xx


Registered User
Mar 14, 2011
Mums things wandered and she ended up with other peoples things, but the staff were great and knew who the magpies were, everything turned up, unfortunately there is not really anything you can do, just ensure nothing if value is with your mum xx


Registered User
Jun 4, 2010
West Midlands
Put this on another thread sorry bad day. Put it on the wrong one

If anyone has lost anything at mums care home..... They always check mums room first :eek:

Mum used to run a collectors shop. Anything she felt was interesting she collected and sold in her shop. Her house was filled (Packed solid) to the roof top with the things she collected. A nightmare when it came to clear her house

So for all of you that have things missing from the care home....

Mum is very sorry, but she felt she needed to keep it safe in case it got lost.....

Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point

Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
Toronto, Canada
Possessions moving around is a very common thing. We made sure that nothing of financial or sentimental value was in Mum's room. Yes, some of her clothes walked too but then again, I found (and still occasionally find) other people's clothing in Mum's closet or dresser. I quickly learned not to be bothered by this, as it's really not important in the big scheme.

Of course, my dreaded aunt went on and on about the staff stealing Mum's clothes etc (yes, the first thing people want is clothing that someone has been incontinent in quite a few times - unparalleled fashion statement :rolleyes:) but once you get used to things, it's okay.


Registered User
Sep 5, 2014
Thanks everyone for your comments! I've labelled things and taken photos, so there's probably not much more I can do, except grin and bear it! S


Account Closed
Apr 12, 2014
My step mother was only in care for a week. The son and myself visited her most days.
We found things in her room which did not belong to her and we got her 4 pairs of slippers and she was wearing odd slippers at 1 point.
I found out sometimes they were taken to the laundry for cleaning.
Most days she left her glasses in other peoples rooms. In that time the carers had not got any pattern where she left her glasses but they always came to her room when another resident had lost her glasses. The other resident was leaving her glasses in my step mother's room when the previous resident was in it.
Oddly when we visited my step mother on the day before she died we found her eating another residents birthday chocolates.
His visitors had only gone 10 minutes before and when I spoke to them they said the box was almost full when they left and over half had gone.
Of course they had to be from Switzerland and you could not get them locally.
All we could do was get him a good box which was available in the area.
A valid point one of the carers raised was we were good at getting items out of her room which did not belong to her as we both visited most days.
Some residents only have visitors once or twice a week and often they were different ones so they did not know the property so well.



Registered User
Dec 28, 2011
I have taken to buying 2 or 3 of most important things - so when Mom cant find her glasses (again) I can go to her room and find them - and say "here they are", this will, of course be pair 2 or 3 that I have stashed in her wardrobe. This buys me time to find pairs 1 and 2 and put them back in the stash! Reduces distress and allows everyone time to find the missing items. Have done this with glasses, shoes, handbag (which is empty of anything of real importance). Its like having props - trying to find similar, identical ones so the lost item can be "found" quite quickly to reduce the anxiety. More often I find other residents clothes in Mom's room/wardrobe, each time I visit, I round them up and return them to staff to be redistributed.


Registered User
Aug 24, 2015
Toiletries going missing

Have not been on this site for a while I cared for mom but she is in a care home now , seems a nice home she has not really settled keeps asking what's this please she is 97 years young as we tell her I'm not mean but I buy mom toiletries soap sterdent, powder shampoo deoderent but when I visit she needs soap and other things she is never using this much Xmas some one brought her a lovely toilet bag full of dove items I put it on top of the wardrobe it went missing when I asked no one knew where it's gone, a few days latter I asked if it had been found they said it must have been emptied and bag thrown a way I hate to be took for granted I'm very good to the unit moms in taking cakes and other goodies
Should I keep quiet


Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
South coast
Im not quite sure I understand what you mean by "should I keep quiet". You seem to be hinting that the staff are removing her toiletries. Its far more likely to be other residents - or even your mom (on the grounds that as she doesnt recognise it she doesnt want it in her room!)


Registered User
Mar 4, 2013
Auckland...... New Zealand
Yes a very common problem.
Apart from labelling everything, and letting staff know, or better still an email of things that are missing , generally things do turn up.
Mum has been in care since July 2016, and in that time has had 9 hairbrushes gone missing, a little purse, 3prs of cheap earrings, and 3 cheap lipsticks. The staff actually lock false teeth & glasses at night ion their room, and either return if necessary or in the morning.
One morning Mum had no bottom teeth in. The nursing staff had forgotten to take them at night, and we found Mums top teeth at the bottom of her bed.

The other day she told me that her earrings were missing and someone had taken them out of her ears while she was sleeping. :)
but in her drawer were two bracelets which I knew belonged to her friend there.
I returned the bracelets and Mums friend had Mums earrings in. They had swapped :)
I have found a male residents hairbrush and pj pants in Mums drawer :confused:, another male residents skin care cream in her drawer, photos belonging to someone else, someone esles shoes, trousers.....
When you ask Mum her reply is always the same "I dont know how they got there!"

When Mum complains that XYZ is missing or stolen, and gets a bit grumpy over it, I tell her I am the wardrobe and room police, and i will make a list and tell the Manager.
That often makes her happier :D
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Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
We kept missing things belonging to my mother. I don`t know how many handbags went missing but it got to the state where friends were giving me their old handbags to take in for her.

On the other hand I would find things in my mother`s room which didn`t belong to her, including framed baby photos which were not of our babies. :)

I learnt from it and when my husband went into residential care I sent him with the minimum of possessions and all pictures and photos were on the wall.


Registered User
Nov 9, 2015
I try to stay relaxed about it, as my mother seems to be worse than anyone at going into other people's rooms. Twice recently I found her asleep in other people's beds at the start of my afternoon visit. I've also seen other residents in her room searching her wardrobe! Mum's slippers disappeared, so I bought her some new ones (an online brand recommended by other TP members.)

Luckily Mum has oodles of clothes which I keep for her in my house, so if things disappear I can easily replace them.

Mum's wandering into other people's rooms and helping herself to their clothes was one of the major strikes against her when she left hospital to go into a respite home which wasn't a dementia home. But now she is in the dementia home, her behaviour is nothing surprising. On the whole, I'm glad the rooms are open to all and there aren't keys. It makes for a more easy-going atmosphere.


Registered User
Jul 16, 2014
The same happens with my mum, although it is often that she has hidden things rather than someone taking the item. Handbag is lost very frequently.
Having bought new clothes for her recently, we have the reverse issue of her believing the clothes are not hers, and trying to give them to other residents.


Registered User
Apr 4, 2016
I think it is really very common, and the staff at MiL's care home are very used to items moving around.

The main thing that happens with MiL is she ends up with loads more clothes in her wardrobe - including pants which are definitely not hers as we don't leave any with her because she uses pull ups.

Even though the laundry people are fabulous and do get used to what is hers (and everyone else's) when they go round with the trolley full of clean clothes, MiL goes and rummages while they are in another resident's room and wanders off with anything she fancies. :)

We have named everything we can, but taking photos is a very good idea - particularly of glasses.

I think we took a month or so to stop worrying about it, and, as others have said, she has nothing of value with her other than her rings.

Wheresmygin x


Registered User
May 4, 2016
driving me nuts....

Most of you seem to manage this quite well... I'm trying to loosen up a bit, but it's really driving me crazy. When mom went into memory care last June, they gave me a list of things to bring. It was minimalist, for sure, but among that list of items was enough socks and pajamas for 2 weeks. So, that's what I provided. I've had to replace socks twice and pajamas once. Pajamas are not cheap!!!

Everything has her name in it and this just drives me nuts. I have emailed, sent text messages, had one-on-one reports to administration regarding missing items and it just doesn't help. They are so kind and concerned and DO try to find them, but they DON'T show up!!!

The most recent incident has left me mad as hell!! One of the nurses came to me and told me that mom needed new shoes because she was having problems with her toenails staying infected. She thought her shoes were too tight around her toes. So off I go looking for shoes. I purchased a pair of relaxed Sketchers and special ordered a pair or orthopaedic shoes designed for exactly the problem she was reported to have. Guess which pair is missing???? Of course!!! the orthopaedic shoes!!! Not prepared to spend another $140 for special shoes!!!!!!!

It bothers me to have to replace her things!


Registered User
Mar 19, 2017
Mum is in a ch.
I provided a printed list of items taken in with her.the clothing was described by type ie jumper/colour/ make/size.
All clothing had a sewn in label and I wrote on the size /laundry labels. Even the laundry pens sold as 'permenant' wash off after several trips through the industrial washer/dryer.
Our shoe shop sells shoe labels designed to stick on the insole (sold as school tags) these also went on her walker,Zima and sticks.
A permenant marker pen was used on everything and anything that it could go on.
The opticians advised me next time she need new glasses to tell them she is in a home,and they can engrave (?) her names or initials on the arms of the frames.
Things do go missing,but her ch.has a lost property rail in the laundry for items where labels have come off which we are encouraged to check.
I also carry a bag when I visit that has needle, thread,buttons etc,laundry pen,permenant marker pen,blue tac- everything that at some point over the last couple of years I'd wished I had with me!
Every visit I do a quick check of clothing,retuning items that aren't hers,and if any item appears to have been missing for a couple of weeks I go and check the laundry- they have a 'missing' white board where you can note what is missing and which room/resident to return it to. It is also an opportunity to rewrite name with pen if wearing off.
Hope your missing stuff does turn up soon

Jolly sailor

Registered User
Apr 1, 2017
Jolly sailor

Don't mean to be negative but just don't take anything into the home that has personal or sentimental value:eek: everything goes walk about!