Picture the conversation; Elder Pilot speaking to her weekend companion, "Batman Jr."
Elder Pilot: "So Batman Jr. how can seniors protect their valuables when they live in a LTC home or Retirement Residence? We want to keep their stuff safe, in case a villain comes in..."
Batman JR: "How would I know? I can't even cross the street by myself yet!"
Tips for securing valuables in Retirement Homes:
- Consider: Who has a key to your Residence, and what are the provisions for utilization? If there is a main floor patio, is the door secure?
- Are there staff in the building 24/7? Does your residence do police checks on all staff, prior to employment?
- What other types of security does the home employ: are there controlled main entrances etc.?
- Have you considered purchasing a safe or a bank safety deposit box? Do you have a locked cabinet that can be used for items?
- Do you have a list of your valuables, complete with serial numbers (where applicable)?
- Do you have your contents insured?
- Have you had your jewellery appraised and insured?
Long-Term Care Homes
- Because staff need direct access to Resident's rooms, doors are not locked, hence items are more difficult to secure
- When reviewing wearable valuables: jewellery, watches etc. these are harder to keep safe. Remember other Residents, Families, Staff, Visitors, Volunteers, Contractors etc. can be in, and out of rooms. If a Resident has some memory issues, they may hide, lose, misplace, or give away valuables. Decision making about these risks should be discussed when keeping items onsite. Homes will not pay for losses; check your contract! Will your insurance company provide a policy for items kept in the home?
- Is there a small banking service on site? Keeping credit cards and large quantities of cash at the bedside, is not a good idea.
- Sometimes the home has a safe for the temporary safe keeping of small valuables, until secured by the Resident or POA when needed
- Be mindful of changing health, and weight loss: sometimes rings become loose and may need adjustments
It is always a juggling match, when making decisions about valuables in a Long-Term Care home. This is not to imply that things will go missing, but a wise Resident weighs possibilities.
The Resident may struggle to keep, or relinquish items, as part of their own decision making. If the Resident becomes unable to make their own decisions, it is incumbent upon the POA (finances) to act ethically, adhering with the Resident's wishes when they were capable.