Taking a person’s belongings is theft!

I don’t know if caregivers are aware of the importance of people belongings? 

It always grieved me when I had to face relatives who complained that clothing or belongings were missing or I had to advise relatives that their precious belongings had been mistreated or lost.  I now find myself on the receiving end of and it does not sit well with me at all.  Yes, my mother’s clothing has gone missing from a residential facility.

I am not criticising the facility she is in. Far from it.  It was them that brought it to our attention. 

What I am criticising are the people who look after my mother who have complete disregard for her belongings.

I know that some cultures view clothing as something that covers the body - nothing more.  I know that some people believe first up best dressed.  I know that some people just don’t care and some people don’t know how to look after a person’s clothing. 

This is not so for me or my culture - Pakeha New Zealander.

Our upbringing is we care for what belongs to us.  What we own is very important to us and is to be treasured.  If we choose to give it away, as many of us do give clothes and belongings away, we willingly do so. 

But when we feel we have our belongings stolen we feel betrayed and hurt.  To take what does not belong to you is theft and theft is a crime. 

My mother is on a subsidy. She doesn't get very much money but she likes to look nice and we do our best to do this.  The cost of doing this falls on our shoulders which we gladly do.

But we don’t appreciate people stealing her clothes.  We don’t appreciate going in to see her dressed in well worn, tatty clothes because that is all that is left for her to wear.  I consider this abuse!

On top of this my mother has macular degeneration so her vision is very poor.  This does not mean that she does not like to look nice. She does. 

It also means that she would not know who took her clothes either.  They could be whisked out from under her nose and she wouldn't know. 

This whole thing really distresses me.   I am not blaming the management but I am distressed, and yes angry, that people have so little regard for my mother that they want what meager belongings she has left. 

I do my best to get the message out how important it is to respect a person and their possessions.  I will not give up. 

While I can’t get it to everyone, and yes probably I am getting to the converted. The people who do care.  At least I hope I am promoting some debate so we can get a better deal for those in care.


 

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