1. stepan

    stepan Registered User

    Oct 22, 2004
    I don't know how useful any of the following is to anyone, but anyway:rolleyes:

    As I was basically alone in looking after my mother whilst she was at home, it was left to me to deal with hospitals, social services, etc; all having to be sorted out, and when one is tired. You may find long delays in responses from them; changes in accounts of what was verbally agreed; changes in dates of actions to be taken; changes in personnel you deal with over time. I found it really useful (though laborious) to try to keep a record of all communications with them, verbally and written. Otherwise, you may find as I did, they'll try to shift problems onto you.

    Ever since my mother entered the nursing home they kept losing her clothes (even though they were marked). A CSSI inspector told me this is common. If your relative has to go into a home (temp or long-term), I would suggest you draw up an inventory of the belongings and get them to sign it. Keep a copy for yourself.
    Most important: attach 'embroidered' (not in ink!) labels with his/her name and their room number in the collars of clothing. I've also found that bottles of shampoo, etc, can disappear from rooms. I've used white tape (with name and room number) protected with cellotape around objects to stop them 'walking.'

    Always deal with the 'top manager' for any problems or questions. The subordinates rarely pass on anything - otherwise, the manager can always claim he/she didn't know about it!

    Hope this helps!
  2. #2 Wordsmith, Feb 17, 2007
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2007
    This is normal, I have to say.

    Even with name tags on, clothes and other belongings will go missing or be worn by someone else. I would say with total confidence the main cause is usually carelessness or downright indifference.

    I've had my relatives in homes wearing name-tagged clothes that belonged to other residents. Those who help our loved ones get dressed will often put on whatever's handy, even if has someone else's name on it.

    Toiletries disappeared too. Recently before an announced inspection they reappeared! Read into that what you may...

    It seems to me over the years that staff have little or no idea how infuriating this is for stressed relatives who need to see some kind of normality. Not long ago my father was wearing a women's vest complete with a small bow at the top.

    I could go on and on and on pointlessly, but I'd strongly recommend that relatives try to save complaints and direct inquiries for more serious problems, because they're sure to come along eventually.

  3. stepan

    stepan Registered User

    Oct 22, 2004
    I'm not going to start an argument over this but I don't see why you're 'strongly recommend[ing]' saving complaints? 'Save' for what? One should always complain about bad service or negligence, whatever its seriousness, if only to demonstrate to the home that you care about your relative and you're not going to passively accept what's going on.

    I've been complaining about the missing clothes for several months. The Manager claimed she didn't know about it (I'm sure she did!), but she has now offered to pay for the missing items - so I got a result, right!:D
  4. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    I once found a male resident walking round wearing one of Jan's blouses!

    Yes, it IS common. Basically all clothes of all residents in Jan's home are taken to their laundry and washed [often at an inappropriate temperature, so clothes need to be robust in the first place], then someone else may dry them, another person may iron them, then someone else may seek to distribute them to the original owners.

    Yes, I do comment to the staff if it is hugely evident that Jan is wearing someone else's clothes, or if I see someone else wearing hers, but I have visited and not commented on such things when they have occurred. Care home life is not normal home life, and neither is it hotel life. These things will happen, but frankly, I'm more concerned that Jan is well cared for and as happy as she can appear to be. I spend all my visiting time with her, not taking some of it to go chasing the staff at the home.

    Now, if Jan were at an earlier stage of her dementia, I'd definitely be more concerned and would act on that.

    So it absolutely depends on each person's situation.

    For my part, I save my energies to complain when something more critical appears to be wrong, these days.
  5. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    anyone can suggest anything at all on TP. No point in getting uptight about that, when you can simply ignore it, if you don't agree. No one is correct in all situations and people simply give their advice - or recommendations, strong, or otherwise - based on their own experience.
  6. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    I was upset when I saw someone else in my mother`s clothes, until she told me not to tell anyone that the lovely red cardigan she was wearing wasn`t hers either.
  7. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    My mum still lives (with me) at home, but I am beginning to notice that she gets very 'wilful' about what she wants to wear. Like "I want to wear that blue one", even though the article in question may be mine, and therefore of inappropriate size: she is petite, I am not! Sometimes compromises when possible are worth it, for an easier life!

    Best wishes
  8. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    I suppose it depends on your personality and style: I'm all for complaining loudly and at length if 1) it has any possibilty of changing anything and 2) it won't rebound on my mother. Unfortunately, the lost clothes, glasses, teeth issues are often not under any single person's control in a residential home situation: it's not just the staff, it's the residents (or my dear mother herself) who moves things around. Reseidential home staff are human like the rest of us: if you constantly bug them about the small stuff (and I'm sorry, clothes are the small stuff) they are going to be less receptive to your complaints about the big stuff. This is not to say I haven't picked things up from my mother's wardrobe and returned them to the laundry, because I have, and searched various places for assorted possessions.

    However, if they are dressing residents in other peoples clothes because they don't know which clothes are which, I would suggest that there is potentially a bigger problem from the point of view of care: too many people floating from one resident to another. That is, I think for a dementia sufferer it works much better for each resident to have one or two people who are their primary care workers. They get to know the resident, the resident gets to know them. They know when the resident is wearing the wrong clothes (minor) and when the resident is not behaving normally (major) and can deal much better with an individual's foibles.

  9. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
  10. Believe me, I know where you're coming from, and I'm not the argumentative type ;)

    What I'm saying is that there are levels of concern. It's sometimes the wiser option to simply bite your lip over less important matters because there can be so many. There is a bigger picture here I feel.

    Attention to detail certainly isn't a nursing home's strong point! Yes, stuff walks occasionally with other residents who are mobile, but by and large the clothes issue is mainly staff-related and there is no excuse for not sorting out tagged laundry properly in the first place and putting it away in the resident's room. That way it's almost certain (with the stubborn exception of socks) that my father's clothes will be on him.

    Human nature being what it is, I wouldn't want to come across the constantly bickering type with staff when my loved one's quality care is my overriding concern. That's why I think it's wiser to usually save complaining for more significant issues. It's just my approach learned over a long time with half a dozen homes. Maybe I've been unlucky.

    Yes, but in my opinion it would be endless...

    Two days ago my mother suggested my very ill father should be in a bed with rails, but senior nurse said no. This morning at 2.00am he fell out of that bed and at breakfast he was very sick indeed. So now we have something to important to ‘say’ to the staff. This puts it all into context for me.

  11. Clive

    Clive Registered User

    Nov 7, 2004
    Stepan makes some good points. The most important one is that he cares (like all who post here in their own way). It is good that we do go to the Care Homes and keep an eye on what is going on. Too few people do. (and I am not suggesting that the staff in the Care Home do not care. It must be very very hard looking after all those people).
  12. susiewoo

    susiewoo Registered User

    Oct 28, 2006
    Bromley Kent
    My Mum has been in a residential home for a month now. I have labelled everything..woven labels/stuck things on her toiletries etc............
    I haven't yet found her wearing someone elses stuff but guess this will happen at some point...when I am away from it I can be rational and talk about how important it is for her to be looked after well and be fed and watered.
    When I am faced with 5 odd socks in her draw and most of her clothes AWOL then it can be hard not to react..but I am trying to tread a middle road.
    I want things to be 'normal' but know that cannot be...I want my Mum back and I don't want to sew name tapes in her underware.
    The problem is there is no-one to blame for this and the frustration is just that...nothing we do makes a difference to the whole situation....there is no control over this so I guess we focus on the detail of the lost clothes and such.
  13. toby12

    toby12 Registered User

    Jan 26, 2007
    My Dad's been in a home for a year. He ends up sometimes with someone elses clothes. They have been washed but they are not his. I agree with some of the other comments, I'm much more concerned that there's some laughter and fun in his life than whether he's got the wrong jumper on.

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