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Meds missing from Dad's apt. at Independent Living complex
Old 03-12-2016, 11:04 PM   #1
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Meds missing from Dad's apt. at Independent Living complex

Seeking advice for what to do here.

My Dad, 85, lives in a large Independent Living complex in town. He has his own apartment and gets every-other-week housekeeping.

He has a prescription for Tylenol plus Codeine, up to 4/day as needed, which is a bottle of 120/month.

Two months ago, his (non-empty) bottle came up missing. We searched his apartment from top-to-bottom for days and didn't find it. I am virtually sure he didn't throw it away as he hasn't thrown a pill bottle away in years. I always take care of that.

He then went into the hospital/rehab for a month, therefore he didn't have any in the apartment for that length of time.

Tonight, I was in his apartment and noticed his bottle was empty. It was last filled on 2/8/16 (the day he returned to his apt.), with 120 pills. He swears (and I absolutely believe him) that he has never taken more than 2 in any one day and usually no more than 1.

I think, since we have already had 2 incidents, we should alert the Director of the complex that this is happening, at least to get it on record.

My brother is concerned about getting somebody fired and thinks we should first try to determine on our own whether it is an employee, by monitoring the quantity on a more frequent basis and matching it with known times that employees were in the apt.

Suggestions?
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Old 03-12-2016, 11:10 PM   #2
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Suggestions?
Get a nanny-cam and see for yourself what is happening? Would Dad be okay with that? If it's the staff, then this will give you all the proof that the supervisor (and police) need.
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Old 03-12-2016, 11:44 PM   #3
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Get a nanny-cam and see for yourself what is happening? Would Dad be okay with that? If it's the staff, then this will give you all the proof that the supervisor (and police) need.
+1
Get the cam, point it at the pill location. Just a simple one that records to a flash drive is enough, as long as it's well hidden.

All your self monitoring will do is in the end leave at this point, pills are disappearing and Dad says he didn't do it.
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Old 03-13-2016, 05:46 AM   #4
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If someone is stealing the pills they should be fired.
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Old 03-13-2016, 06:31 AM   #5
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The most important thing is to ensure the continuing safety and security of your father. For that the head of the institution should be notified, and a nanny cam is a good idea. Checking his mess on a more regular basis will also help.
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Old 03-13-2016, 07:20 AM   #6
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We keep our meds in a safe. Have never had a problem.
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Old 03-13-2016, 07:26 AM   #7
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I think you should file a police report.


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Old 03-13-2016, 07:39 AM   #8
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If someone is taking pain meds, they're very likely going to have them pills stolen at some time.

My wife is on morphine sulfate for a bad back and arthritis, and she literally has to guard her pills. We've found a number of my daughter's friends over the years in her bathroom suspected of trolling for pills. One girl is spending 8 years in state prison for stealing her pills--a felony. (She had a history of drug violations.)

Our grandson stole 18 lesser pain pills last week--even though we were watching even him closely.

Sometimes people in assisted living have to pay to have all of their pills stored and given out.
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Old 03-13-2016, 08:09 AM   #9
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I think I'd inform the director or manager and lock up the pills in a small safe. The second time I'd call the police if anything else comes up missing? Maybe take an empty pill bottle and fill it with placebos and leave it on the counter to see what happens. A nanny cam might be a good idea too, if your dad is okay with that.
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Old 03-13-2016, 10:57 AM   #10
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Report it to the administrator or DON immediately. They may have strategically placed cameras that show who was in that wing. They may be on the trail of a bad actor employee already and just need a little more evidence. Install your camera without divulging it if you wish, but delaying the reporting of two incidents is allowing the thief more time to steal from others.


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Old 03-13-2016, 11:46 AM   #11
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If they steal DF'S meds what else might they do?

We found out that assisted living staff were tormenting DF when he was having problems with reality. Pretty f'ed up when staff are messing with elderly folks who have lost their capacity to reason or understand what's going on around them.

Getting fired and prosecuted are the best things that can happen to some sicko that's messing with elders.
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:52 AM   #12
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If someone is ripping your Dad off, good chance they are getting others as well. Notify the management and file a police report.
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:59 AM   #13
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Agree with the "report to admin" crowd. If they are stealing dad's pills, they are stealing others. They are also probably stealing dad's other stuff.

Although the place where my dad stayed in independent living wasn't perfect, nothing was ever missing. More impressively, they returned his wallet (with cash) when he dropped it. (Don't get me started on why dad had cash, that was another story.)

The director needs to know about this possibility. It shouldn't be held against you. And if it really is happening, getting someone fired is the right thing.
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Old 03-13-2016, 12:21 PM   #14
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Report it to the administrator or DON immediately. They may have strategically placed cameras that show who was in that wing. They may be on the trail of a bad actor employee already and just need a little more evidence. Install your camera without divulging it if you wish, but delaying the reporting of two incidents is allowing the thief more time to steal from others.


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I agree with this. I'm sure your dad is not the only one with meds gone missing.

If an employee is doing this - the administrator will figure out how to catch them. But if you want to set up a hidden camera - that might help them catch the bad actor.

If an employee is doing this they *SHOULD* be fired. Your dad is in a senior facility so he's safe and doesn't have to worry about this stuff... Not to supplement the income of the staff by having them sell off his meds.
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Old 03-13-2016, 01:24 PM   #15
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I don't understand your brother's reaction to this at all. I can't think of one person in a 100 that would worry about someone getting fired over committing a felony against an 85 year man. It's also not your job to "catch" the felon.

Is there something else going on here? How many family members have access to the meds?
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Old 03-13-2016, 03:57 PM   #16
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My brother is concerned about getting somebody fired and thinks we should first try to determine on our own whether it is an employee, by monitoring the quantity on a more frequent basis and matching it with known times that employees were in the apt.
Like ivinsfan I don't understand your brother's concern at all. If an employee is stealing meds they should be fired and I would have absolutely no sympathy for the thief at all. They are willing to have other people suffer pain they shouldn't have to for their own selfish ends.

Definitely notify management and the police. The camera would be a good idea if your father is okay with that.
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Old 03-13-2016, 04:48 PM   #17
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I think a nanny cam is a great idea. In looking for a retirement community for us, we've stayed in several senior living campuses on a trial basis. The one we thought was perfect for us turned out to be a disaster due to uncaring and/or incompetent management -sure didn't look that way from the outside, though. Theft and poor managed care were just some of the problems, and reporting to management resulted in nothing positive resulting. The problem as I perceived it was that even the sharpest geriatric was pooh-poohed as slightly mentally impaired when (s)he complained about personnel issues.

Even if this is not the case with your father's residence, prescription pain meds are a popular street drug, just an easy way to supplement to a minimum-wage housekeeper's pay.

If there are even the slightest suspicions of personnel problems, complaining to management is counter-productive. I think you're on your own here.

Oh, just an afterthought: if someone is stealing from your father, they should lose their job - in those cases it's normally more than just one resident who is being exploited. Right now your father's security and health is more important that worrying about a thief being terminated from their job.
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Old 03-13-2016, 05:15 PM   #18
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Does you father self-manage all his meds (if there are any others) or do facility personnel administer the others to him? That is, are you trying to have a mixed plan where the facility brings your dad certain pills on a schedule and records that he took them. But, he's allowed to self-administer the Tylenol as he feels they are needed with no record being kept?

Having a mixed plan is a very bad idea, if it would even be allowed in your state.
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Old 03-13-2016, 06:23 PM   #19
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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.
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Old 03-13-2016, 06:51 PM   #20
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The most important thing is to ensure the continuing safety and security of your father. For that the head of the institution should be notified, and a nanny cam is a good idea. Checking his mess on a more regular basis will also help.
+1
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