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Are caregivers at an assisted living facility supposed to accept gifts from residents?

My mom keeps giving away her stuff to the aides who work at her assisted living community. She has dementia so forgets that she has given things away and then keeps looking for the item. It's nothing valuable mostly just costume jewelry and craft supplies. Should I say anything to the assisted living community or just not worry about it?
Status: Open    Feb 04, 2016 - 06:08 AM

Caregiving, Senior Living Communities

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Expert Answers

Feb 09, 2016 - 09:49 AM

Everyone community should have a policy on how they handle gifts from residents. I would talk to the General Manager/Executive Director of your mother's community about the issue. The community will be able to easily develop a plan that makes your mom feel good about the gesture while ensuring her belongings don't go missing. Good luck and all the best.

Feb 09, 2016 - 09:54 AM

No, caregivers are NOT supposed to accept gifts from residents. And, YES, you should say something immediately. According to the Life Care Association (formerly called the National Professional Geriatric Managers Association) Code of Ethics: Standard 5 - Professionalism of the Relationship


The Aging Life Care Professional should not exploit professional relationships with the client and/or members of the client system and should maintain appropriate boundaries.


The Aging Life Care Professional should be aware of and resist those influences and pressures that may interfere with the exercise of professional discretion and impartial judgment.


Aging Life Care Professionals:

  1. are sensitive to the power of the professional relationship.
  2. should refrain from entering into a dual relationship if the relationship could reasonably be expected to impair the Aging Life Care Professional’s competence or effectiveness or may put the client at risk of exploitation or harm.
  3. should avoid the giving or receiving of any gifts that may impair their impartial judgement or might lead to exploitation.
  4. should never engage in sexual contact with the client and/or members of the client system.
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Feb 06, 2016 - 05:44 AM

My mom is in a nursing home, and staff are not even allowed to accept gifts from family members. If I were you, I would talk to the administrator and explain the problem. If your mom is insistant that staff accept a gift in the moment, perhaps they could accept with thanks, then put it away in another area where they could "find" it for her when she misses it.

Feb 06, 2016 - 06:09 AM

You should say something.
Schedule a meeting with the director and explain what is happening. I am sure that there are guidelines and restrictions established for the staff.
While your Mother may not be giving anything of great value away it is possible that there are other residents that are giving away valuables to staff and it should be brought to the attention of the management.

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