Help! Somebody stole gift card from my parents in nursing home!!

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Master Pre-K, May 31, 2008.

  1. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    May 31, 2008

    Hello All,

    I have a serious problem, and need some advice.

    Somebody has stolen a gift card we gave our Mom for Mother's Day! My parents live in a nursing home, so you can't lock their room. She knew she put it up in her purse. We went out for dinner that Sunday, and it disappeared. Finally, we called the store corporate office, and sure enough..it has been cashed.

    This ticks me off! And it really makes me sad too! Now what do I do? Any chance of getting the money back? They know the date, store, purchases, and may have video of the person using the card. We have a small safe in the room, but she didn't get a chance to put it up. And now we wonder if that is any good, because apparently the creep has been tearing up the room when they are out, and they took the key to the safe! We got another key, but I don't know if that was a good idea either.

    Going in to admin and accusing the staff without proof will be hard. The thief may have given the card to bf/gf and might make it even harder to trace. I also wonder if they catch the person, I'm sure they will get fired, and will they possibly sneak back in and just continue, or do something worse...:unsure:

    We hate to keep all their money, because they need to feel independent, and have some cash on hand to buy things. The fact that Mom had just opened the card, but did not put it up makes me think that somebody may be going thru everybody's room...and especially we they know the residents are out for the day.

    Any suggestons?
     
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  3. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    May 31, 2008

    Oh no. I'm sorry this is happening to your mom. Well, if I was in her shoes, I would feel completely violated. I don't know if it's possible, but I would move to another nursing home. Obviously, this is not a safe place anymore. In regards to the gift card, I really don't know what can be done with that. I don't know if they have a "we are not responsible for lost or stolen card" motto.
     
  4. Turtle321

    Turtle321 Companion

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    May 31, 2008

    That is HORRIBLE. What kind of staff does that to their residents? I am hopping mad.

    Once, at work, I had money stolen from me. You know who's responsible, but have no proof. Just your word against theirs.That is the worst feeling in the world, so I can understand.

    Maybe talk to the person in charge and convey that you are aware of this happening...and will contact the authorities...so maybe they will think twice about doing it again if they know you are onto them? Wishful thinking, I know.

    Good luck to you. :hugs:
     
  5. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    thanks peachy...but you know moving is no easy feat. It's so hard to find a good, CLEAN, dependable place that is not in the middle of nowhere, or on the watch list! and my family likes the fact that when residents are sick, they rush them quickly to hospital. I don't know..wish I could afford a live in nurse, and a big house! :(
     
  6. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Yes, I know what you mean. THere are so many shady nursing homes. Isn't that horrible!!! I would do what turtle suggested and talk to the owners first. Then, I would get a new safe and find a really good spot to hide the key.
     
  7. Turtle321

    Turtle321 Companion

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    More good ideas! Your OWN safe, with your OWN key... or a combo lock so you don't have to worry about a key. I bet you can get a teacher discount at Staples because I saw them in there!
     
  8. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    thanks turtle..I just had a thought...put a broken pen inside her purse, and some fake/expired cards. The culprit will have ink stains all over their hands. Just like JCPenneys has those sensors that explode ink all over if you try steal something and try to take it off at home!

    or maybe thumbtacks inside her wallet...GRRRRR

    or a buzzer alarm that goes off when purse is open? do they make kinda stuff?

    I need some breakfast! I am feeling evil right about now..
     
  9. Turtle321

    Turtle321 Companion

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    May 31, 2008

    YES...my son made a door alarm with plastic, a battery, and some wire :lol:

    There are kits....try the science section of the teacher supply store!

    Seriously...let admin know you are NOT happy & that you are taking steps to insure it will NOT happen again!
     
  10. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    ..I am going to check some websites...and wait for final outcome from the store as well, before I go state my case!
     
  11. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    May 31, 2008

    That's horrible. Best wishes in fixing it. I would definitely let administration know you are aware...We had a maid's service once and one employee would steal small items that had some value (like a reusable razor). We reported the missing items to the maid service and they figured out what was going on. Someone later told me, that taking small items is a technique for seeing how owners react before choosing targets for taking larger items.

    I hope this turns around for you. Keep us posted!
     
  12. deedee

    deedee Connoisseur

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    May 31, 2008

    oh my goodness! thats horrible! we are in the middle of a case with a nursing home for abuse! Its horrible that these people can get away with horrible acts just because the patients are elderly.
     
  13. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    May 31, 2008

    How about a nanny cam? You can get one in the shape of stuffed animals. You could set it up when you take her out.
     
  14. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

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    That's terrible! My wallet was stolen in high school. The little b*tch stole all my money and gift cards. I found out who it was because her dad was going through her room and found my wallet with my drivers license under her dresser and called my high school asking who I was. The only thing she left in the wallet were pennies... She spent 48 hours in juve. Whoopty-doo. It's a terrible feeling to have something stolen from you. How can others take advantage of the elderly like that?

    Is the store going to get the videos for you?

    In the future you could possibly put "ID me: Jane Doe" on the front of the gift card. Some people would probably ID you, or the stealer would maybe not steal the card because the name is on it. I write "ID ME!" in big letters on the front of my credit cards. I've had some cashiers give me funny looks and I always say, "When you get your wallet stolen you get smart."
     
  15. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    May 31, 2008

    I would indiscretely ask other patients of the home if they had anything missing. If the answer is yes, you might be able to figure out the times and dates of the items stolen and find out who was on duty at the time. If not, ask patient relatives to inform you if anything happens and collect enough evidence. Then approach the nursing home owners. The more ammunition you have the better luck you have in catching the person.
     
  16. Tolentine Grad

    Tolentine Grad Rookie

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    May 31, 2008

    Sooo sorry to hear this. Personally, I would not let it slide. But that is easy for me to say. My gramma always said, "the squeaky wheel gets the oil." It is all in your approach, however.

    Case in point:

    At a local hospital recently a woman is in a car accident and dies at the hospital. Social worker is given the ladies belongings to take to the family as he consoles them. The husband discovers his wife's custom made diamond engagement ring (huge) and wedding band is missing from her belongings bag. His wife is dead and he has other concerns, right? Well, he took it to the police when the hospital did nothing. Long story short, police saw the social worker on camera with said belongings bag.

    Skip forward, social worker is arrested, confesses to pawning rings, police retrieve rings for husband to put around neck on chain and save for his sons.

    Social worker is seen on news and is recognized by many other victims and now has several felony theft cases against him. But had the husband never said anything, he would never have gotten his wife's rings and neither would have the other people.

    You can bet this person or persons makes this a regular thing and this needs to stop. If you dont want to contact the police, you might consider a hidden or not hidden camera. With a dvr, you can watch from home. It might be worth the investment if you want your parents to stay there. The camera alone (not hooked up) will undoubtedly be a deterrent as well.

    Good luck!
     
  17. Bridget

    Bridget Rookie

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    May 31, 2008

    I worked in the kitchen at a nursing home all through high school. Our training entailed what different parts of the nursing home was responsible for. The social services department often investigated such cases as theft...
     
  18. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    May 31, 2008

    So sorry this happened. I hate when people take advantage of others, especially when they're helpless or elderly. I sure hope you can be reimbursed.
     
  19. daysy_may

    daysy_may Groupie

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    May 31, 2008

    MPK so sorry this happened. My grandma is living in an assisted living home, and someone stole her house keys (where I'm living now!), and money, now she hides money in a book in her room, and we don't give her as much.
     
  20. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    update

    It turns out that the thief also took my check that was a gift as well, so I put a stop payment on that, just to be safe. And...the rotten b____'s took my stuffed bear that I gave my mom too! :(

    I mean these residents have their own TVs, DVDs, jewelry, nice clothes...all the things you normally expect to have in your home! When my folks lived in an assistance living, they could lock the doors, and cleaning service was optional. This is a nursing home, and none of the rooms can be locked! That is my main concern. I am certain that its probably a cleaning person, because we go out of our way to be nice to the staff. Especially me! whenever we have celebrations, I always make sure to invite the cna's and nurses to have some food, and sometimes, I will make an extra cake or pie and set out in the reception area for them. I also make a point to give our favorite staff gifts at Christmas. It's good therapy for Mom, writing out cards and wrapping the gifts. I may give everyone a $5 McDonald's card. Nothing big, but I know they appreciate the thought.

    based on this, I truly believe it is an overnight staff or cleaning person..or somebody who preys on people who go out, because everyone else knows we are in and out all different times, and we would notice and complain right away about anything wrong.

    so who would stoop that low, I can't imagine it could be anyone we know, if we are being nice to them anyway? that really makes me feel bad. Trust is something hard to earn. and you look shady at everyone until you know! I almost want to tell them all, and let them know how upset I am. hoping that the one who is doing it will stop, or at least keep an eye out for the thief.

    I have a feeling admin will just say they are not responsible for theft, and all valuables should be locked up..or some mess like that. but that wouldn't make sense...when a stuff bear goes missing, because that is personal property..not valuables! Theft is wrong, and they need to put a stop to it. I bet the whole building goes into lax mode after 10pm. Most places do! Every night job I ever had was more laid back, and even security goofed off and sat around talking to me and others instead of patrolling the place!

    Maybe me or my sisters should just spend the night there!

    we have complained about missing clothes in the past. Mom will put special items in a chair, and I will clean them. but the housekeeping staff takes everything, and it comes back shrunk, ruined, or doesn't come back at all. I guess that is why so many families insist on doing all the laundry. that prevents that issue. but still, it bothers me...you can't sit there 24/7 and watch them

    maybe a camcorder is the answer... :unsure:
     
  21. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    thanks...

    did you hear about the lady who had the fake campbell's soup can for a safe...and forgot about it, and gave it away with other can goods to a food pantry!

    sigh!

    they say people with alzheimers get really paranoid and they start to hide everything. so far, my dad doesn't bother stuff. Last time my mom lost some money, she did find it. This is just a whole different ballgame! :unsure:
     
  22. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    hmmm.....I have seen people do that with their debit/credit cards. I never thought about that with gift cards! thanks!
     
  23. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    got any suggestions? where can I buy those? I thought about some alarm that goes off when her wallet would be pulled, but my sisters think that would scare Mom!
     

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