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Dear Advocate:
Personal Belongings


Dear Advocate,

I visit my mother every day in the nursing home and would like to be able to lock up some of my mother's things to keep them from 'disappearing,' as has happened often in the past. The administrator says that I can't lock up my mother's items, that this is prohibited by law. Is this true?

Dear Relative,

No, the administrator is wrong.

In fact, California law requires that the facility provide a lock for the resident's bedside cabinet or drawer upon request of and at the expense of the resident, resident's family or representative.

The facility administrator (but no other staff) can have access to the locked area upon request.

So, if you ask for it (and pay for it) you can have a locked area for your mother's things.