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Old 03-13-2016, 11:12 PM   #21
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I have a relative in a retirement home. I screwed this from the inside to wall so it cannot be taken away.
9" x 6" x 6" Digital Safe

It's a sad world, but the street demand for narcotic pills is high (like $100/pill if right type).

The other problem with having them stolen, is the rules about replacing them makes it hard/impossible which is really bad, but there because some patients abuse them/sell them.
Not to disagree with the topic about reporting the theft and getting the thief fired, but there aren't any $100 pills out there. The general rule is $.50 to $1.00 per mg of opioid, so unless somebody is getting horse dosages I'd be surprised to see anything over $25/$30 per pill, and most of them are more like $5-$10. These big numbers you seen thrown around are mostly FUD from the media or police depts. pumping the value of their busts. I do know that there's some mega-dosage oxycontin pill, but I don't see that being self administered and easily stolen.

Having said that, there are a lot of people that would rip off old people, and they should be stopped. I would go with the safe, and the nanny cam if DF would agree to it. There are many very innocuous looking cams out there these days. You should be able to aim it directly at the medicine cabinet so as to not accidently film your father doing things you would never be able to unsee.
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Old 03-14-2016, 07:57 AM   #22
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Also, a great deal of these thefts are for personal consumption and not resale. It really doesn't matter why they have been taken. That's why I asked the OP how many family members had access to Dad's meds.
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:06 AM   #23
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Also, a great deal of these thefts are for personal consumption and not resale. It really doesn't matter why they have been taken. That's why I asked the OP how many family members had access to Dad's meds.

Because of this possibility, maybe I wouldn't talk to the facility admin until I made sure that it was not a family member taking them... It would be bad to accuse someone or a collective someone wrongfully.


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Old 03-14-2016, 09:25 AM   #24
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Because of this possibility, maybe I wouldn't talk to the facility admin until I made sure that it was not a family member taking them... It would be bad to accuse someone or a collective someone wrongfully.


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There isn't really any good way to do this, asking if other family members "stole" is not going to end well. Just report it and let the chips fall where they may. I might just tell family "I going to report this tomorrow" and let 24 hours pass.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:16 AM   #25
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There isn't really any good way to do this, asking if other family members "stole" is not going to end well. Just report it and let the chips fall where they may. I might just tell family "I going to report this tomorrow" and let 24 hours pass.

I agree. Not an easy situation. I won't ask family members at all though. I will put the nanny cam without telling anybody but my dad (and I tell him not to share the information with anybody else including family members) and find out who is doing the deed first. If I report it to the admin and the thief happened to be within the family, it would put my dad in a very awkward/uncomfortable position with the admin. Even after the cam shows who did it, I am not sure how I would approach the admin about it. If I were an admin I would look at me as a trouble resident who snoops around behind her/his back. I could always say we did it because we were sure it was one of dad's guests who was doing it and we were very shocked to find out that it was one of the workers doing the stealing and now that we know, we had no choice but to report it, blah, blah, blah.....?


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Old 03-14-2016, 10:41 AM   #26
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I see your point, but I would just stick to 24 hour notice to the immediate family and then go to the admin and say we are having some meds disappearing what is your SOP for the situation? Involve them from the beginning without accusing anyone. However at this point, you better be ready for legal fallout if any family member could be involved.

Perhaps the OP is the only visitor and this might not even be a problem.

Have your ever watched Nurse Jackie? often times I think the admin would have a darn good idea of any potential troublemakers on staff.
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:42 AM   #27
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Have your ever watched Nurse Jackie? often times I think the admin would have a darn good idea of any potential troublemakers on staff.
Unfortunately, this isn't always the case, and sometimes management is the root of staff problems. Some really bad stories sometimes.
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:50 AM   #28
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Unfortunately, this isn't always the case, and sometimes management is the root of staff problems. Some really bad stories sometimes.

And sometimes management works miracles coaxing a bit of performance out of incompetent team members. It depends........
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:14 PM   #29
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Maybe put the pills in a different place?
Care facilities are very sensitive about their reputation. Loud complaints occasion rumors and reactions. In earleir times, DW worked in a nursing home. When a watch belonging to an aging resident went missing, the upset to patients and patients' families (plural) become such a negative that some threatened to leave. Never mind that the watch turned up where resident had hidden it (and forgot)... the suspicion and effect on morale was long lasting. Mentioning the loss to a management member should be enough, but turning this into a major incident could be counterproductive.

Care facilities are continually under fire. Being responsible is one thing, but we see some families constantly carping about isolated incidents and can see some negative results... not just for the facility, but for other patients.

We're very close to many members living in the apartments, the assisted care, and the nursing home, and we're there enough to see the kind of food, care and personal attention that they receive in a day in, day out basis. The employees are a team, and totally dedicated, and the turnover is very limited. All of this care gets turned upside down, when a visiting family member becomes upset and runs through the halls shouting for the manager, when his/her mom doesn't get assistance within 60 seconds of pressing the bedside call button.

A bit more... off topic...
24/7 care is challenging. One on one care basically would require three full time employees for one resident person. We feel very fortunate to live in a house in our CCRC. If and when it becomes necessary for us to move into one of the facilities, we feel comfortable with what we've seen. Taking the time to plan ahead for this, may be as important a selecting ones retirement home.
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:22 PM   #30
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Not to disagree with the topic about reporting the theft and getting the thief fired, but there aren't any $100 pills out there. The general rule is $.50 to $1.00 per mg of opioid, so unless somebody is getting horse dosages I'd be surprised to see anything over $25/$30 per pill, and most of them are more like $5-$10. These big numbers you seen thrown around are mostly FUD from the media or police depts. pumping the value of their busts. I do know that there's some mega-dosage oxycontin pill, but I don't see that being self administered and easily stolen.
I don't doubt you are correct, my relative takes 50mg narcotic self administered, due to cancer.
Yes it's a high dose, next step will be the drip device if it gets worse.

Even at $10/pill , a 60 pill bottle is worth $600 which is tempting for some folks.
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:23 PM   #31
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Maybe put the pills in a different place?
The Dad would possibly forget, and the staff (cleaning/nurse/aid) would just search or find it.
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:44 PM   #32
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If it was my parent I would want to know the quality of the administration and patient advocate in the facility. Their attitude toward this would give me a lot of info on the overall quality of the place. Things are going to happen in a setting like this, that's a given, how management deals with it is important.
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:45 PM   #33
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Update:

Got our normal monthly refill on the med (120 pills). We put 30 of them in exactly the same place they were before. Dad is not to touch those. Will count them each time we go up there.

Put the rest of them in a hidden place for Dad to use.

Contacted the Exec Director and just gave him the facts (the pills were missing) and did not speculate. He wanted to know who was a regular in his apartment. Told him.

The only other relative who is in the apartment is my brother. No way he would be doing anything like that. We are a 50/50 partnership in taking Dad to his appointments, etc.

Dad didn't want a nanny cam.

Now, we'll just wait.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:03 PM   #34
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Does your dad take any other prescription meds on an ongoing basis?
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:04 PM   #35
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Got our normal monthly refill on the med (120 pills). We put 30 of them in exactly the same place they were before. Dad is not to touch those. Will count them each time we go up there.
Clean the outside of the bottle very well the next time you go back--with a little rubbing alcohol. And don't handle it with your hands when you do the pill count (grip lightly with a paper towel in just a couple of spots). Crooks aren't always very smart, and if any pills are missing, the authorities (staff, maybe the cops) will want to know whose fingerprints are on the bottle. It's not definitive proof of theft ("I found the bottle on the floor and put it back on the table when I went to check on Mr. Gindie")-but it's probably enough to take care of the problem.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:28 PM   #36
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Does your dad take any other prescription meds on an ongoing basis?
Yes, several. I apportion them in a 2-week pill divider.

The pills in question are taken "as needed", so I don't put them in the dividers. They remain in the separate bottle.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:44 PM   #37
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And he does OK with this system? No missed doses, double doses, needs for reminders, etc on those other daily pills?
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:21 PM   #38
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And he does OK with this system? No missed doses, double doses, needs for reminders, etc on those other daily pills?
Maybe once a month, he will forget either his morning or nighttime dose.

But, hey, I forgot mine every once in a while as well.
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Old 03-15-2016, 05:41 AM   #39
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Update:

Got our normal monthly refill on the med (120 pills). We put 30 of them in exactly the same place they were before. Dad is not to touch those. Will count them each time we go up there.

Put the rest of them in a hidden place for Dad to use.

Contacted the Exec Director and just gave him the facts (the pills were missing) and did not speculate. He wanted to know who was a regular in his apartment. Told him.

The only other relative who is in the apartment is my brother. No way he would be doing anything like that. We are a 50/50 partnership in taking Dad to his appointments, etc.

Dad didn't want a nanny cam.

Now, we'll just wait.
Hope this works for him. Regular visits by you and your brother are very helpful and a clear sign to facility staff that you are involved and monitoring.
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Old 03-15-2016, 02:47 PM   #40
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Clean the outside of the bottle very well the next time you go back--with a little rubbing alcohol. And don't handle it with your hands when you do the pill count (grip lightly with a paper towel in just a couple of spots). Crooks aren't always very smart, and if any pills are missing, the authorities (staff, maybe the cops) will want to know whose fingerprints are on the bottle.
Holding the bottle on the sides with one's hands or anything else will smear the fingerprints, making them useless for identification.

Fingerprints are made of the oils secreted along the ridge lines of everyone's fingers and are thus very delicate, except on paper, where it is absorbed into the fibers.

If the bottle needs to be opened to count the pills I'd suggest placing the bottle on a table, handling it by the cap only because that is usually ribbed and won't hold a fingerprint anyway, and then hold it on the very bottom with a pair of pliers to avoid as much as possible smearing the prints. That way one can push down on the cap and turn it without relying on the grip of the pliers to keep it from slipping lengthwise.

I'm making the assumption the pills are in childproofed bottles. If not it gets a lot easier.
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