Should we bring my aunt, who is very much in denial that she has memory issues, on tours of AL facilities? My sister insists, I think no.

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Dear SSSepe,

I know its always hard to come to an agreement with a sibling. I would try to compromise. Or even take a video with your phone of some of the places and take pictures to show your aunt and see what she says. Its always a good idea to include your aunt in the decision making process, but I also know its hard if she has memory issues.
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Do not bring the elder on any tour of an AL. What should happen is the LO'S family member takes tours of these facilities; then he or she makes the determination what is best for the elder, including a contract.
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Would she do better in a smaller board and care home, if a suitable one is available?
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With evaluating any facility, I recommend showing up unannounced/no appt. Why? Seeing is believing. Ask the receptionist for a tour and as she
scurries for the Director use all your senses to size-up the environment.
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Ferris--I beg to disagree. A person with dementia may not be able to "voice" that they are unhappy--but they certainly HAVE feelings. Plus, I would hate to see someone I loved in a substandard place just b/c "well, they have dementia, they don't notice". I've been constantly surprised by how much my elderly friends who are considered "long gone" with dementia remember and can call forth in conversation. People I haven't see in years have been able to talk to me by name and I have a VERY unusual first name. We're not living in their minds, we don't know what they suffer or don't.
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I really do think it depends on whether she recognizes that she has memory issues or not. And, also, whether her memory issues have made her be kind or belligerent. My mother has anosognosia and thinks she is perfectly fine and, unfortunately, she is pretty belligerent. I took her on a tour of the place that I'd already chosen (without telling her) and she was annoyed that it took so long and was pretty rude about it. I've been told that my mother is in early stages, but she barely remembered the place when I moved her in. So...should you take your aunt on the tour...I've recently realized that sometimes my inclination to keep my mother informed and included only backfires on me. More stress for her and for me.
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To add to my post above.... for my Dad, I found him a senior living facility that reminded him of a resort we all use to go to that was a Victorian type resort.   Thus he was happy when we drove up to the place and commented that it had reminded him of that place.

The inside had a very large living room, numerous sun rooms with wicker furniture, and the halls were more like a hotel.   Behind the building was a nice area with picnic tables, benches, and very nice landscaping.   Also a library, and a TV room for when the guys wanted to watch football.   Plus a common dining room with table cloths and menus.  Yes, the place was expensive but Dad had saved of such a "rainy day".

Thus, finding a place that would remind your Aunt of a place she had enjoyed in the past.
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I agree. No. It is only agitate her and what difference does it make? One looks about the same as the other, the prices only change. People with dementia do not care what a place looks like.
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Maybe use the approach of looking at these places before she needs it. If she thinks she has no problem now, go with it. Tell her she needs to decide before she gets a problem. That way you'll know her wishes while she can still decide. She may fall for it. It certainly won't hurt to try.
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I sought out 15 different AL facilities. I took pictures to show mom what they looked like. The doctor said she could no longer live alone. I took her on different days to 4 of them. I saved the best one for last. She loved it! We had lunch there and a tour of the facility. It took her 2 months to finally say she was ready to move. She couldn't take care of her house anymore or herself. Once she was in AL, she told me to stop coming every day because she was just fine. They filled her days with exercising, bingo, puzzles and lots of other activities. They kept her busy and even though her mind was going fast, she liked going to different activities throughout the day.
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