• We're currently experiencing technical issues with our newsletter software, so our Dementia Talking Point monthly updates have been put on hold for now. We hope to restart the newsletter soon.

    Find out more >here<.

Losing things in Care Homes

Linbrusco

Registered User
Mar 4, 2013
1,633
Auckland...... New Zealand
since this post my Mum has had a UTI which has taken 7 weeks and two courses of anti bs to resolve.
Mum confined herself to her room majority of this time and in the process trashed her room.
We are looking for artificial flowers, a vase, shoes, 6 prs of undies, 2 jackets, 2 lipsticks, a photo, & her birthday cards... but instead missing from 3 mnths ago we now have 6 hairbrushes
The carers did find that Mum was throwing clean underwear in her bin at one point.
Mum had a little Christmas tree with tinsel in her room that she didnt want down, but is now broken in bits.
 

Rageddy Anne

Registered User
Feb 21, 2013
5,984
Cotswolds
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



That's an illuminating explanation, and I think it should be explained to everyone who is helping someone moving into a Dementia Care Home. It might help them think more kindly when things go missing.

The Care Home itself losing things and clothing in the wash, is a different matter. In his former Care Home my husband lost so many things, and sometimes I saw others wearing his clothes, which I found difficult. He also lost several wallets and four watches. Luckily he could no longer tell the time, but he would look for his watch and wallet each morning, so the watches were old ones that didn't work. The first wallet contained a £5 note because he would check for money at first, but that disappeared, although other paper items didn't. So I put some very low value foreign money in it, and that disappeared too. We then found some paper napkins printed with what looked like money, and that also disappeared. One wallet, now empty, was found washed many times, still in a pocket when he moved to another Care Home. But luckily he soon forgot to check.

In his new Care Home, he has his only watch that still works, a cheap one; he's wearing it every day and it has never been lost. And his wallet remains in a drawer. The only casualty has been a slightly chipped vase that he probably damaged himself.
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
Photos should be labelled on the back of the photo, not just on the frame, in case somebody decides to dismantle it. (happened with one of ours). Any of particular sentimental value should be copies only.
More than once I found someone else's very old family photo in my mother's room. There was no name anywhere. All staff could do was keep them in the kitchen area in the hope that relatives would eventually recognise them.

My mother's care home would sometimes resemble Kleptomania Central. I once left a pair of nice new leather gloves on a chair for no more than a minute or two - pouf, gone for ever. And the visiting hairdresser once made the mistake of leaving her jacket, with car keys in a pocket, out of supervision range. It took several of the staff over two hours to find it - carefully hidden away in someone's room.

And I once warned a 'new' visiting relative not to leave her bag lying around, as she just had, since it would very likely go walkabout. She gave me a very odd, askance, look - evidently took me for one of the residents! Luckily one of the staff had overheard, and repeated the warning in stronger terms than I'd used.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,439
South coast
I often wondered why mum always had clothes hanging in her wardrobe that werent hers - or even her size - and were obviously marked with someone elses name. I recently discovered that when the laundry was brought round it was neatly piled on a trolley and left in the corridor when a pile of clean clothes was put into their owners rooms. While the trolley was out in the corridor mum liked to look through the piles, help herself to clothes that took her fancy and hang them up in her room. I have also seen ladies going into other peoples rooms, take the clothes out, try them on and then take them back to their room - just as if they had been shopping!
 

Rosnpton

Registered User
Mar 19, 2017
394
Northants
mum puts things in a safe place-anything that can be picked up either goes in the bucket on her zima or in her "knitting" bag- an small shopping bag that hangs off her zima on a pram clip- we normally have around 20-30 paper napkins/ at least 2 half eaten items of food/sandwich or banana being current favourite,and bits torn from magazines.we also found several scrabble letters from the set we took in that she and 2 others play most evenings- the z j and k were removed at last check-maybe she realsied it was easier not to have these in the set!!
she is double incontinent,but likes to try and manage her pads etc herself. i was wondering about the lack or undies as had taken 3 dozen in over about 9 mths- she informed me she likes to throw them away when the pad inside is soiled as it means no one sees the dirty pad!!!
on Saturday we had a little side trip to a and e following a fall- i met her at hospital as when the ch rang i was nearer to hospital then ch- she arrived with her "treasures"- an old note book/teddy/scarf and a pocket full of tissues-both clean and used.
she obviously picked up everything in reach at the time.
i just make sure at every visit the family do a quick check of her bag/zima and room and return items we can to the correct rooms/rsidents
we also scanned all photos into an external hard drive before taking them to the home so if any get lost or damaged they can easily be replaced.
ros
 

olivia1

Registered User
Mar 19, 2017
45
Glasgow
Lost items in CH

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to."
"I don't much care where –"
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

All good tips. I have taken in precious family photos (originals) - will need to get those back next week then. I will scan them at the library and return them as copies.

Oops. Other mistake I made was take in compression socks for Mum, she has very swollen lower legs and feet - I can usually get rid of that with managing putting on the socks for her. But, in the home.....another matter entirely. First of all, the socks were met with suspicion - were they prescribed / prescription compression socks? I used to work for the company that make them so I know they're what Mum requires. Eventually, I got the doctor to phone the home and that was all okay. But, now - they have said she should wear them at night (which was my first suggestion) - which means she may not be getting them on, on a regular basis. And I have never seen these socks again since I took them in, first time around. I didn't know to label them - the staff said they've seen them but that was weeks ago and every time I ask about them I get run around the houses.

These socks were £20 each and well, I have not been saying anything but having read all the posts here I'm going to ask specifically to see them. I helped Mum into her PJs last Sunday and I hope to do that again next Sunday, in which case I could put on the socks!!! That will hopefully help this swelling she has. but, I have to find them first and going to look for them has not been okayed.

New clothes were bought for Mum when she went in and I didn't see what they were. So ... I have been labeling items in her wardrobe and aware some are possibly not hers - which means i put her name on someone else's tops. All a bit rubbish really.

In the case of my Mum, she has several spare sets of clothes at home so - I'd just make sure next time around I'd label any of it that i take to her in the future. The staff are pretty good at identifying whose clothes are whose so it's not too bad.

There are people who wander into Mum's room and she doesn't like it - things are moved rather than taken. most of the things I leave with her are still there when I go back every two weeks which i'm surprised about. Except glasses. Hers went ****ing and she has someone else's in her drawer.

!Idea about having a 'stash' in the wardrobe is a good one. I will get some cheapy glasses which work perfectly well and put in wardrobe.

Rosnpton
My Mum also collects tissues and pictures or anything cut out of newspapers, half eaten bits of shortbread and bits of old newspapers all shoved into her drawer :rolleyes:

Olivia
 

olivia1

Registered User
Mar 19, 2017
45
Glasgow
I try to stay relaxed about it ..
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.
I agree, after all I try to say to Mum that this is the other resident's home too. She doesn't like people moving her things though. I'm not sure I would. She comments on it each time I visit. However, you are right - it is a better atmosphere if the room doors are not locked. ;)

I was thinking it would be impossible for the carers - going backwards and forwards unlocking and locking doors - near impossible to manage I'd have thought.:eek:
 

olivia1

Registered User
Mar 19, 2017
45
Glasgow
kkerr : 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!

This is a good idea - along with taking photos of things
Thank you. I will leave a back-up stash of things in mum's wardrobe
Plus, bring a needle and thread and labels with me each visit; Ronpton
 
Last edited:

Jendacot

New member
Jan 4, 2020
3
I often wondered why mum always had clothes hanging in her wardrobe that werent hers - or even her size - and were obviously marked with someone elses name. I recently discovered that when the laundry was brought round it was neatly piled on a trolley and left in the corridor when a pile of clean clothes was put into their owners rooms. While the trolley was out in the corridor mum liked to look through the piles, help herself to clothes that took her fancy and hang them up in her room. I have also seen ladies going into other peoples rooms, take the clothes out, try them on and then take them back to their room - just as if they had been shopping!
This is a common occurrence at Dad's home. He was wearing ladies yoga pants the other day...ugggh. Always other residents wearing Dad's clothes.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
9,259
Yorkshire
hello @Jendacot
a warm welcome to DTP

just to let you know that this is a thread from 2017 ... you can see the date of the last post in any thread top left of the text box
 

Bezzy1946

Registered User
Jul 18, 2017
42
73
Watford
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!
My husband has been in care since beginning of February. He went with trousers, jogging bottoms, tee shirts, jumpers all with specially printed name tabs sewn in. Every time we visited he was wearing someone else jumper or trousers. I did ask carers why he was wearing other people’s clothes and was told his were in the wash. Then lockdown happened so have seen him three times recently as we were able to visit wearing PPE cut his hair and took loads more clothes up for him. Visited him on Tuesday his 80th birthday, someone else’s clothes again. The home has now gone into lockdown for two weeks as someone has tested positive. I don’t want to moan about missing clothes as they look after him well and he seems happy but I don’t want him to wear some baggy jumper that is too big for him. Do you think I am overreacting !!
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,439
South coast
Hello @Bezzy1946
This is a thread that was started in 2014, so as you can see its a perennial problem. I really dont think there is much you can do about it. When the carers are busy (which is most of the time) they just take clothes out of the wardrobe to help them dress and dont notice that they are not theirs.

Mum regularly had clothes that were not hers in her wardrobe as she would help herself to any clothes that took her fancy and she was by no means alone - residents in a dementia home have very fluid notions about ownership. I would honestly try and relax about it.
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
4,780
Nottinghamshire
Hi @Bezzy1946 I was amazed that my dad was always wearing his own clothes but I did once go to see someone else wearing his slippers! From what I read on here it’s a common thing!

It used to upset me when my mum was wearing something in a size 20 when she was only an 8 (how can they get it so wrong?!) but it must be difficult, especially with all the extra infection control at the moment, to find the time to see to the finer details and as canary says - the quality of care is the most important thing.
 

Louise7

Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
2,400
From time to time mum is occasionally wearing someone else's clothes but the funniest thing was when I saw a male resident wearing one of her tops :eek: She had recently changed rooms so not all of the labels in her things had been changed and the man that had moved into her room was dressed in a stretchy, lowish cut, brightly coloured/patterned top that looked about 4 sizes too small for him. Staff said that they thought it was an odd thing for him to wear but it was in his wardrobe!

@Bezzy1946 Are you making sure that your husband's clothes are clearly/securely labelled? Some labels will fade or come off in the wash so I always use secure 'tag it' type labels which require no sewing - they have never come off, unlike sew-in labels. They're available from a number of suppliers: https://www.carehomelabelco.com/tagg-on-namelabel/small-tagg-on-labels
 
Last edited:

kindred

Registered User
Apr 8, 2018
2,495
From time to time mum is occasionally wearing someone else's clothes but the funniest thing was when I saw a male resident wearing one of her tops :eek: She had recently changed rooms so not all of the labels in her things had been changed and the man that had moved into her room was dressed in a stretchy, lowish cut, brightly coloured/patterned top that looked about 4 sizes too small for him. Staff said that they thought it was an odd thing for him to wear but it was in his wardrobe!

@Bezzy1946 Are you making sure that your husband's clothes are clearly/securely labelled? Some labels will fade or come off in the wash so I always use secure 'tag it' type labels which require no sewing - they have never come off, unlike sew-in labels. They're available from a number of suppliers: https://www.carehomelabelco.com/tagg-on-namelabel/small-tagg-on-labels
I do agree, especially about being relaxed about it if you can. I know it is very important for identity. I volunteer in a nursing home and we find that names written in black biro or initials are very useful and don't always come out in the wash. We often have these sessions where whoever is doing the laundry comes in to the staffroom or lounge and holds up garments and we have to tell them who the clothes belong to because they are not sure. I think most care staff do try very hard because as I say we know it is a matter of identity and pride and families like to see their beloved family members dressed smartly in their own clothes.
warmest, Kindred.
 

Susan11

Registered User
Nov 18, 2018
2,448
From time to time mum is occasionally wearing someone else's clothes but the funniest thing was when I saw a male resident wearing one of her tops :eek: She had recently changed rooms so not all of the labels in her things had been changed and the man that had moved into her room was dressed in a stretchy, lowish cut, brightly coloured/patterned top that looked about 4 sizes too small for him. Staff said that they thought it was an odd thing for him to wear but it was in his wardrobe!

@Bezzy1946 Are you making sure that your husband's clothes are clearly/securely labelled? Some labels will fade or come off in the wash so I always use secure 'tag it' type labels which require no sewing - they have never come off, unlike sew-in labels. They're available from a number of suppliers: https://www.carehomelabelco.com/tagg-on-namelabel/small-tagg-on-labels
And the advantage of these kind of labels is that you can put them on the clothes when you are visiting . It takes very little time . Saves taking everything home to label which is a no no for me.