Indeed clothes don’t always have to be labeled; however, in most nursing homes it is highly recommended, but this depends on the capabilities of the residents. Most times facilities will have washing and drying machines that the residents have access to.
They can then maintain their independence and feeling of worth by washing and drying clothes themselves. Staff can help with this if need be.
If this is the case then labeling might not be required. But clothes can easily get lost that is why labeling is recommended. If washing and drying clothes are proving too difficult for the residents then the facility can take over the task. This is when labeling becomes mandatory.
Ideally, in a nursing home, residents have a washing basket in their room and there is a schedule for when the laundry is to be collected, usually by the care staff. Note that this schedule ensures that the laundry’s workload is spread evenly throughout the week.
The scheduling is communicated to new residents when they move into the facility. Once the laundry staff has washed and dried the clothing, they will then load it into baskets and racks and go to the rooms to deliver. Have it in mind that some laundry staff will put the clothing away themselves or may leave it in the room for the resident or care staff to put away.
If you have a loved one in a nursing home, you have to label all of their clothing, so it is easy for the laundry staff to sort and so that they don’t get lost. A good number of nursing homes make this mandatory to avoid extra stress to staff.
For instance, imagine a facility with 70 residents; it would be very challenging to maintain an efficient service with all those items if they weren’t labeled! Doing a resident’s laundry is often part of nursing home care. Howbeit, you can reduce the chance of loss by permanently labeling your loved one’s laundry. Here are the best ways to label clothes for nursing home residents.
How to Label Clothes in a Nursing Home
Laundry or Fabric Markers
Note that the easiest and least expensive way to label clothing is with a permanent ink laundry marker or colorful fabric marker.
The indelible ink lasts through many trips through the washing machine and it is quick to use. However, the disadvantage is that the ink can bleed through the fabric to the outside of a garment. And, once it does, the stain is permanent.
But if you choose to use a marker, always write the owner’s name on the care tag or an inside seam. Protect the outside of the garment by placing some cardboard under the label area to catch any bleeding ink. Another issue with using a permanent marker is you may also have some unhappy hand-me-down recipients if an older sibling’s name is on the shirt.
The best thing is to use the family’s last name only. Also, have it in mind that most items that are marked with indelible ink are not accepted by consignment shops for resale and are not usable by charities that distribute used clothing since the name is visible.
Mesh Laundry Bags
People are also using mesh bags that are labeled with the resident’s name. However, with this method, the laundry is washed in batches.
It also entails that every resident’s laundry is washed and dried separately from other residents. Some places wash the laundry in the bag itself so that more laundry can be processed without mixing it up. The drawback though is that pieces of clothing could still get lost if they aren’t also individually labeled
Customized self-inking stamps can be acquired to mark clothing. They are quick and easy to use but have the same limitations as a permanent ink laundry marker. The ink can bleed through the fabric and is impossible to remove.
One of the newest ways to label clothes is with a plastic tag similar to a price tag that can be attached to an interior seam, hem or care label. Note that this tag does not fade, is resistant to high temperatures, and can be removed. You will have to order in advance and use a custom device to attach and remove the tags.
A good number of fabric stores and websites sell plain or customized iron-on fabric labels. The plain labels can be personalized with a permanent ink laundry marker. These are convenient, not too expensive, and will more or less last through the life of the garment.
Also, if the garment is handed down a new label can be ironed over the last one. However, the problem with these labels is they are usually difficult to remove and may damage the fabric of the garment if you pull too hard. Some wearers also find them scratchy if placed near the neckline.
Also note that you can make your own iron-on labels using twill tape, a laundry marker, and some fusible web (available online or at any craft store). This is a particularly helpful DIY to know especially if your loved one needs labels at the last minute.
Good looking custom woven labels can be ordered to both identify and enhance your garments. They can be designed to exhibit the seamstress or knitter who made the garment or with a name or monogram for identification purposes. These are lovely but sewing them in is time-consuming and they are the most expensive type of label. You must allow several weeks to place and receive your order.
Stick-On Fabric Labels
If you don’t even own an iron but still need to label clothes, there are peel and stick fabric labels for clothes. Although they are not quite as durable as iron-on labels and you may see them come off after multiple washings. Nonetheless, they are easier to remove than iron-on labels if you plan to pass along the clothes or equipment. To remove, just follow the guidelines for getting rid of any sticky residue.