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Some posters have said their parents have been addicted to gambling. I am curious why facilities take the elderly to casinos on a bus for a day trip.


How does this work? Do they limit the amount of money they spend? Are the facilities concerned about addiction?

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I wonder how many of the elderly participate in this activity.
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Many here in Florida. It is very common. I personally am not against it, as most are on a very tight budget and really don't have much to spend in the first place.
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I've never heard of such a thing. A really stupid idea in my opinion. There has to be a more wholesome activity they could participate in.
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It is very common here. They load them up on a bus. Doesn’t matter if they can’t walk. They are in wheelchairs, use walkers and even have oxygen tanks.
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They have the bingo games at facilities but I suppose that isn’t considered serious gambling. So they head off to the casino!
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We have a lot of casinos opening up here in upstate New York. They take people by the bus loads to the casino . I hate it. I wish they would do away with casinos and bingo!!!!
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It would be wonderful if there was a test to see who was going to become addicted to gambling.
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The saddest experience I’ve had recently has been in a casino. We went for a concert that was onsite, but I got a good look at the many elderly there. Sorry to judge by appearances, but many appeared disadvantaged, poor, and some quite out of it. The casino staff was obviously overly solicitous toward them, easy to see the casino as the best place they’d go all week as they were fawned over. There are constant loud announcements that if you need credit it’s easily available. Just keep playing. I know many assisted living facilities do day trips to casinos, I think it’s ethically questionable at best. Same facilities wouldn’t hesitate a bit to kick out a resident that couldn’t pay their rent but encourages poor decisions by a vulnerable population
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Yeah, I have thought about the same thing with the lottery. Do rich people buy lotto tickets? Or is it only people who would like to win money? Sometimes we do hear about a rich people winning a powerball prize. Well, I guess we all have heard of rich people loosing all of their money gambling too. So addiction can happen to anyone, rich or poor.
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Fine if no one is memory-impaired. POA family members should be presented with a waiver to sign. Otherwise, it’s like giving a five-year old the keys to your car, or a pen with your checkbook, a box of matches and a pile of important documents...I think you catch my drift?
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I live in NJ about 2 hrs away from Atlantic City. We have Del Park in Del. PA there is one in Chester and further up.

The only ones that go to the Casinos here are AL residents that are capable. Meaning no dementia and not incontinent I would think. NH/LTC to not provide it. The trip cost maybe $40. During the week this usually includes $20 back and lunch. Most just sit and play the slots. If u have never done a bus trip its fun. Some socializing on the bus. Some fun in the Casino and back home. In Atlantic City you can go out on the Boardwalk. Its a day out for them. There are Casinos quieter than others.

If someone needs a POA to sign for permission, I doubt these people would go. If they can't make decisions, I doubt if they understand how to play the slots. They aren't ur old "one arm bandit" anymore. There are no people that go around making change. Its now change machines and the same cashing in. Its now a receipt you put in a machine and out comes ur money. Really not as much fun. And there is more than one way to win. Hard to find a simple slot machine.
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pamzimmrrt Feb 2020
My mom and my Aunt are 89 and 85, and they LOVE to go! They plan ahead what $ they will take, and they have a blast. If it is AL, they are not prisoners, and if they like it at their age.. go for it!! They get bored after a few hours, and we come home. Win or lose,, its a fun day for them! Something they look forward to! I agree with you , my dad loved to walk the boardwalk and look at the ocean in Atlantic city. Here we go to one in WV and it has horse racing.. he loved too watch that too ( never bet, just watch)
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My nephew#2 worked security at the local casino, he said the place was full of old people. It's big and shiny and exciting and as long as you aren't a fool about it you can spend the day and and have something to eat at a cost comparable to any other entertainment.
Not to mention it is super easy for the facility, all they need to provide is the transportation.
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I would be opposed to it - gambling and dementia - what could go wrong?
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Many people in AL don’t have dementia though.
you seem to assume that everyone there does.
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I see no reason why elders can’t continue to do the things they like just because they are in an assisted living facility. It’s not like their life is ending. it’s their money, their life. Let them live a little more before they die.
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In the end, it's really not up to 'us' how our parents choose to spend their money, or what foods they choose to eat, or if they want to drink wine or cocktails, or if they enjoy gambling at casinos. As much as we try to micromanage their lives, we can't. And we should stop. We had a 93 year old poster named Laura here the other day leaving a comment to the "My 99 y/o mother gained 20 lbs eating chocolate" post and what she had to say was rather profound. It gave me a whole new perspective on how NOT to treat my mother like a child. She isn't a child. She's 93 years old herself and entitled to live life as she sees fit, at least to some degree. Here is a link to that thread for anyone who's interested:

https://www.agingcare.com/questions/my-99-year-mother-has-become-addicted-to-chocolate-and-has-gained-over-20-lbs-in-the-last-2-months-455347.htm?orderby=recent

That said, they do NOT take dementia residents who live in Memory Care to casinos. Of course that would be ridiculous. Some regular ALFs DO take the residents who WANT TO GO to the casinos, and of course they don't limit their spending! Just as they do not limit what they eat or even how much they drink at happy hour on Fridays (which they have at my mother's ALF). One lady gets plastered on wine every Friday, but that's her right as well. Sometimes she has to be walked back to her room after happy hour is over, even. But hey, that's her choice again.

If I live to 90 or 93 or 99, I will be damned if my children are going to tell me what to do, what to eat or not eat, or whether or not I am allowed to go to a casino. Their 'inheritance' isn't their inheritance, either, until I'm dead, meaning I am free to spend my money however I'd like. If a person can 'afford' Assisted Living, they can surely 'afford' to waste a little MORE money in the casino once in a while!!!
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I agree if someone can afford it. There shouldn't be a problem. You have more insight as to what happens, Lealonnie, because you work at a facility. It's always good to hear your input.
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Please remember ALs have many residents without any cognitive impairments and lots with only mild memory or cognitive problems. AL activity trips include weekly shopping trips to local malls and festivals where there are also opportunities to overspend. There are even coin operated "games" I consider gambling at the bowling alley!

A bus day trip to a casino can be a lot of fun. First, getting out and seeing the sites during the bus ride. Second, socialization during the bus trip and meal/restroom stops. Third, those residents not wanting to gamble can attend a show. Most of the residents in the AL adjacent to my father's MC actually went on these twice a year trips for the shows and maybe play a few slots.

The AL I know about did allow residents with MCI to attend casino trips; however, there were safeguards in place. One, the AL required residents to decide how much money they wanted to spend at the casino and for meals prior to the trip and loaded debit cards (one for casino and one for off bus meals); residents agreed not to take other credit or bank cards. Please realize Medicaid residents use their monthly allotment or family support to fund these trips. The AL also has activity money funded by fees and donations that were occasionally used to fund trips for residents who could not otherwise afford them. Total cost for two restaurant meals and two 90 minute casino shows and some snacks plus $10 for slots was $100. Two, by agreement the casino only accepted the debit cards and did not extend credit offers to the AL residents. Typical schedule was bus leaving AL around 8:30, stopping for a brunch around 10:30, arriving at the casino around noon and departing around 4:00, stopping for an early supper around 4:30, and arriving back at the AL around 8:00p. It was a full day and almost everyone slept during the bus ride back to the AL. It's like a field trip for seniors.
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TNtechie Feb 2020
I guess I approve of these trips... since I sponsor the trips for two Medicaid AL residents without family support each year. It's one of their few opportunities to get out of the AL for a significant block of time. The local church which sponsors their other activity trips throughout the year will not cover the casino trips because of the gambling angle. I just think when you're old and have already given up your home and lost most of your family and friends you deserve a day out with the group to have some fun.
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Actually, I have a story about a dementia resident where I work (in a Memory Care community) who loved to go the casinos in the mountains. She was late stage Alzheimer's. Her husband would come & take her every Thursday, weather permitting, to the casino to eat lunch at the buffet and to play the nickel slot machines, which she loved. She most often won. When they'd get back, Fred would pull off his baseball cap and show me the winning ticket he'd had under there. The last time they went, it read $1200.00 that she'd won. He was always very pleased that she'd eaten so well from the buffet, and proudly tell me what she'd had.

All of a sudden, she went dramatically downhill one day about a month ago, probably due to a stroke. She became wheelchair bound, was totally silent, and began to drool. Within 2 weeks she passed away. The last great memory Fred had was that last Thursday he'd taken his beloved wife to the casino to play the nickel slot machines.
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cwillie Feb 2020
What a sweet story!
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I've never had any interest in gambling, or bingo.   And I think there's still a widespread perception that these are entertaining for older folks, perhaps under the assumption that mental capacity automatically has declined due to old age.

I am supportive of arts and music activities for seniors though.   Both are stimulating but also soothing, and they're creative.   The costs of materials go to suppliers, as opposed to people promoting what I consider potentially addictive and intellectual wasteland activities.'

Yes, I'm very opinionated about this.
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The house always wins! I guess they have to look at it as entertainment only. Only very few are lucky enough to win.
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My brother's ALF takes elders to a casino for a nice lunch, and yes, some of them gamble a bit, though my brother does not. I see your point, but unless there is dementia, in which case I certainly would hope that the elder doesn't have ACCESS to large amounts, then there is likely not a problem. The ALF takes them to movies where the lighting isn't always perfect, and on rides also. I think that the activities overall are good for them. I myself love to have the rare visit to a casino and limit the amount I will lose (as of course it is always losing, isn't it). I do see your point if there is dementia and access to funds. You may wish to discuss with your ALF why you don't wish your elder to attend this and see if that is an option to opt out.
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JoAnn29 Feb 2020
My DH and I love bus trips. Can't wait to go on another. Go with friends so have a nice time. We also agree on what we will spend. Its a nice day out.
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They do this in my state as well. I think it's because there are so few things left that they can do and a casino can feel exciting. They can eat out and do something "entertaining" all in one place where the facility doesn't need to schedule a field trip or make arrangements in advance. If an LO has a diagnosed addiction problem I think that can be discussed with the admin prior. I understand your reason for concern.
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I have heard where the games are designed to become addictive, still not everyone becomes addicted. Same with the AL facilities that have 'happy hour' with wine and cocktails. Not everyone who is a social drinker becomes addicted.
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I don't have a moral issue with gambling as long as someone doesn't become addicted. If it truly is just entertainment, then it can be a fun activity for them. Addiction in general is fascinating. It can run in families. My oldest brother had a drug problem. I was so opposed to drugs because of his addiction. No one else ever had a drug problem because we saw the hell. My parents never even drank.

Look at shopping, drinking, drugs, gambling, the internet, television, pornography, etc. Anything can become an addiction. My brother got hooked at young age giving into peer pressure but I do think with some people it could be a genetic thing.
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