Missing clothing in care home

Indy321

New member
Sep 1, 2023
3
0
My mum has been in a care home for a few months now and the transition has been challenging. We understand that items can go walkabout whether taken by other residents or left in different places by mum. Her clothes are all labeled as requested and items of value were not left.

However, one particular item (a unique cardigan of significant emotional value to mum) went missing within week of her arrival - still not found. And, now her drawers are empty (no underwear, socks etc) and the wardrobe is severly depleted - is this normal?

Staff are polite and suggest that 'it's probably in the laundry' or 'we'll keep an eye open for it' but to have no underwear, trousers or shirts available is too much. Today she was wearing a nightgown in the middle of the day, that wasn't hers.

I've tried addressing this with the manager - that went nowhere and the manager has now changed. I've recently sent an email to the organization that owns the home - we'll see how they respond.

Is anyone else experiencing this?
 

Angel55

Registered User
Oct 23, 2023
143
0
My mum has been in a care home for a few months now and the transition has been challenging. We understand that items can go walkabout whether taken by other residents or left in different places by mum. Her clothes are all labeled as requested and items of value were not left.

However, one particular item (a unique cardigan of significant emotional value to mum) went missing within week of her arrival - still not found. And, now her drawers are empty (no underwear, socks etc) and the wardrobe is severly depleted - is this normal?

Staff are polite and suggest that 'it's probably in the laundry' or 'we'll keep an eye open for it' but to have no underwear, trousers or shirts available is too much. Today she was wearing a nightgown in the middle of the day, that wasn't hers.

I've tried addressing this with the manager - that went nowhere and the manager has now changed. I've recently sent an email to the organization that owns the home - we'll see how they respond.

Is anyone else experiencing this?
Hello 💗

Where our PWD is they have a tagging system and anything then that goes missing or isn't tagged with a tiny electronic tag goes into the lost clothing box and put in the newsletter with a decent description and on the notice board.

We haven't had any issues as yet. In a previous place we acquired items which were not ours and vice a versa and they used just a name label with no room number on. That was definitely worse there than where we are now.

I think it does vary but certainly I would expect some issues given the fact that identification ie asking a person if it belongs to them can be flawed.

I would say totally empty drawers and most of the clothes missing is NOT normal.
 

SAP

Registered User
Feb 18, 2017
1,326
0
Well mums clothes do go walk about and I often find other people’s clothes in her wardrobe but she is always dressed in clean well fitting clothes every day and mostly her own. The underwear drawer is topped up daily but the laundry.
 

spirituscorpus

Registered User
Sep 4, 2023
38
0
My mum has been in a care home for a few months now and the transition has been challenging. We understand that items can go walkabout whether taken by other residents or left in different places by mum. Her clothes are all labeled as requested and items of value were not left.

However, one particular item (a unique cardigan of significant emotional value to mum) went missing within week of her arrival - still not found. And, now her drawers are empty (no underwear, socks etc) and the wardrobe is severly depleted - is this normal?

Staff are polite and suggest that 'it's probably in the laundry' or 'we'll keep an eye open for it' but to have no underwear, trousers or shirts available is too much. Today she was wearing a nightgown in the middle of the day, that wasn't hers.

I've tried addressing this with the manager - that went nowhere and the manager has now changed. I've recently sent an email to the organization that owns the home - we'll see how they respond.

Is anyone else experiencing this?

Yes-same here.

Mum has been in the care home for about 3 weeks and from the outset we were offered the choice of taking her laundry home to wash ourselves or let the staff take care of it.

We chose to wash mum's clothes ourselves as we thought there'd be less chance of them going missing that way.

Despite a prominent sign displayed in mum's room saying that family will do the laundry we are finding that half the time the staff are still removing mum's clothes from the room for laundry and within 3 weeks they've already lost 3 of her night dresses.

I can accept that losses can occur when residents wander around from room to room but my mum is bed bound as are most of the other residents on that floor. This is clearly a staff issue.

Even today, on her birthday, we arrived to find mum dressed in someone else's clothes, with last night's nightdress missing from the room.
I originally started placing mum's night clothes in one particular drawer until one time a particular member of staff explained that they didn't look in the drawer where I had placed them but in another chest of drawers (which was empty)-almost like it was my fault for not putting them in the drawer where they decided to look!

I agreed with another member of staff to start placing her night clothes in the other drawer but now someone else hasn't looked in the right place.

Maybe it's a trivial matter but it's actually winding me up as my mum shouldn't be wearing someone else's unclaimed clothes
 

SAP

Registered User
Feb 18, 2017
1,326
0
@spirituscorpus , as soon as my mum went into residential care , I decided to let go any expectation of her always being in her own clothes . In her current home it took a while for the staff to get to know what was hers ( every thing is labelled) and most of the time she is in the things I have bought for her. The important thing for me is that both my mum and her clothes are always clean , I have never seen her in anything unfit for purpose or beyond use. Every now and then I go through her wardrobe and weed out anything that is not hers in case anyone else is going with out. I have told the girls that I don’t mind is my mums stuff is used for someone else in an emergency as some residents have no family to restock their clothes. This is just a different approach but it saves me a lot of stress.
 

McSuffolk

Registered User
Feb 12, 2023
71
0
As @SAP says, the improvement in situation when mum moved into care was such that she is now dressed in clean, appropriate clothing each day and although I often find items that aren’t hers in her drawers or wardrobe, on the whole things are much better now than when she lived alone and didn’t wash, either herself or clothing.
 

maisiecat

Registered User
Oct 12, 2023
321
0
My husband's nursing home has a great system and clothes rarely go missing although one of the wanderers sometimes takes his shoes.
I think its always about staff levels,his home is well staffed and a well staffed laundry department. Many homes seem to charge very high prices but then the care etc can be patchy.
I never leave anything that would matter if lost but they did launder 2 mobile phones !!
 

The Saint

Registered User
Apr 29, 2020
42
0
I agree with @SAP and @McSuffolk to let go of any expectation. Although all clothing was marked I thought many items would disappear but I have been pleasantly surprised. Very little has disappeared and he has acquired a few items that I have sorted and handed back. The laundry lady prides herself on knowing her residents and that includes what they wear!
 

DeeCee7

Registered User
Oct 13, 2023
268
0
Our PWD always had many clothes, filling 3 large wardrobes so it was a challenge to pare things down for the one wardrobe and chest of drawers in the care home. We actually took in a chest of drawers from his house to supplement things, as he has a large room. At first I would go through his clothes on a weekly basis, weeding out other people’s clothes, including ladies garments ( including knickers which he said I could have !!) but as he is usually out in the communal areas when we visit, I have neglected this for a while. My husband says, does it really matter? And that’s the crux of it. However, I don’t like to see his trousers rolled up in a ball and squashed in a drawer meant for socks.
I am going to make labels with words and pictures and stick on the appropriate drawer fronts and see if this helps both my friend and the staff.
The other thing that concerns me is when I notice he is still wearing his pyjamas under his day clothes. But he looks clean and tidy, so I let it go. In the scheme of things, as my husband says, does it really matter?
But if all the clothes disappeared, then yes, this does matter!
 

northumbrian_k

Volunteer Host
Mar 2, 2017
4,489
0
Newcastle
After almost 5 years in her care home the most important thing seems to be that my wife is clean and presentable. She is usually in clothes that are hers (and are labelled as such). The personalised socks that I bought her seem somehow to have been lost or distributed to other residents. I don't see this as a big issue although some of the more experienced staff have remarked on it. She wore a top that did not belong to her so often that staff came to genuinely believe it was hers. Eventually, sick of seeing it and unable to identify the true owner, I removed it.

My wife was very much into clothes and had 5 wardrobes that were bursting at the seams. Almost none of those clothes are suitable for care home use, being too fiddly, with lots of buttons or zips and, now that she has put on weight and wears pads, too tight fitting. She always liked to wear a dress jacket (2 wardrobes) but that's not necessary now. Instead I have used some of her personal expenses allowance to buy smart, casual and easy to put on garments.

Before going into the home her ability to sequence and properly dress herself was severely reduced. Sometimes she would wear a dress inside out, an odd 'pair' of shoes, and several pairs of knickers either under or over her clothes (or both). In short, all that used to matter to her about looking smart is now of no consequence. But for her dignity and self worth - and because it matters to them - staff do their best to make sure that she is both comfortable and well presented. If sometimes what she wears is not hers it doesn't bother her. So I don't make a fuss.
 
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canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
25,048
0
South coast
My mum was in a dedicated dementia unit and the residents (including mum) tended to have a rather fluid notion of ownership.

Things would be put down and then picked by others. Mum used to chuck out clothes that she said wernt hers, even when they were. The Magpie would often help herself to things that caught her eye - I once caught her removing mums walking stick from mums hands whilst asleep!

I was told about another resident who used to go "shopping" in other peoples rooms - taking stuff from their wardrobe, trying it on and then taking it back to her room being convinced that she had bought it!!

The laundry used to use a little trolley to take clean laundry back to residents rooms. They would fold the clothes and pile them neatly on the trolly according to to room then take the trolly round. I found mum with another lady going through the trolley and taking clothes that fancied while the carer was putting someones clothes away in their room. Mum told me it was free stuff that no-one wanted!!!

All in all I was amazed that people belongings used to come back to the right owner. The home recommended some clip-on tags and relatives were expected to make sure that everything was labelled. I used to go through mums drawers and wardrobe, sending stuff that mum had put back dirty to the laundry, handing stuff that wasnt mums (clothes, but also other items like glasses) to the carers and looking to see whether things had gone missing. Most things came back. Lots off her knickers never did and I eventually came to the conclusion that mum flushed them down the toilet. Apart from that she only permanently lost a couple of tee-shirts and a pair of trousers, which I thought wasnt bad going.

I learned not to worry when she was wearing other peoples clothes and also just be amused rather than offended when I saw other people wearing mums clothes. As others have said - she was clean, with clean clothes, and looked respectable, which was better than she had been at home.
 

Tilly13

Registered User
Jul 27, 2020
176
0
I have found difficulties with other things going missing
There's the usual - glasses , hearing aids and now false teeth.
But also I do get irritated by the missing wooden twiddle toys and knitted ones plus the robotic cat .
Bought for my Dad who is continually rubbing his hands but on every visit no one knows where they are!