Long Term Care Ombudsman News

Long Term Care Ombudsman News

Ask an Ombudsman about theft and loss in a nursing home and what to do about it.

Under the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, residents have the right to retain possession of their personal belongings and are entitled to a safe environment free of theft and loss.

Family members of residents or residents can follow these steps if any personal items or funds come up missing.

  • Report any loss of theft immediately to administration, staff or local Ombudsman.
  • Seek help from the Ombudsman Program or family/resident council.
  • Write a demand letter to the nursing home for replacement or reimbursement and include an expected date for a reply.
  • Make a report to local Police if necessary.
  • Sue in small claims court for replacement value of article if necessary.

When moving into the Facility:

  • Mark all items, including watches, dentures, eyeglasses and hearing aids and maintain a written inventory system for clothing and other valuables signed by the resident and a representative from the facility.
  • Ask the facility what their policy is for replacement of missing items.
  • A resident can request a lock on a drawer for personal items such as jewelry or money.

Every situation is different, so for more information on this issue contact the Area VI on Aging and find out who your local Ombudsman is for your area and ask how we can help.  406-883-7284.