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Theft and Loss
Anyone who has been a victim of theft knows how violating it feels. For a nursing home resident, that loss is magnified, as personal possessions are often the only symbol of independence remaining. Despite state and federal laws mandating protections for residents' personal property, theft and loss continues to be one of the most prevalent (and unreported) problems in California nursing homes. Problems such as missing clothing, rings pulled off residents' fingers, stolen radios, lost dentures, eyeglasses and hearing aids are still too common. Such losses not only undermine the psychological well-being of residents, but in some cases, such as lost dentures, also jeopardize a resident's life.
So few official complaints of theft and loss are filed in relation to the number of actual incidents that it appears theft & loss is an "accepted" consequence of one's stay in a nursing home. BUT, it does not have to be!
Theft & loss can be reduced by understanding the facility's responsibility and by using the protections and remedies afforded under the law. Facilities which fail to make reasonable efforts to safeguard resident property must reimburse a resident or replace stolen or lost property at its then current value. H&S Code §1289.3.
Responsibilities of Nursing Homes
The California Health & Safety Code (H&S Code) requires nursing homes to:
California and federal laws prohibit nursing homes from requesting or requiring residents to waive facility liability or responsibility for lost or stolen property. H&S Code §1599.62(a) and §1289.5, 42 CFR §483.15(a)(2)(iii).
Additionally, federal regulations require nursing homes to:
What You Can Do About Theft & Loss
Page Last Modified: August 10, 2017