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Guest confidentiality conundrum

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BenCognito

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Had this interesting situation arise. Had to do some quick pondering to contemplate how to handle it. Wished it had come up on here before so I would have had an outcome already planned out.
A couple showed up today for a several day stay. I show her to her room, husband was still at the car. As I am pointing out he features of the room, he shows up at the door to the room and then looked confused as he said "Oh, sorry I have the wrong room." To which his wife said no, this is the right room, come on in and I said the same thing almost at the same time. He looked confused but then happy to see his wife. He then wandered back out to the car. She confided in me that he had early Alzheimers and this was their last trip to the region they had both fallen in love with and spent much time in. She seemed a bit sadened by the reality of the situation. I got them settled in and all seemed fine.
While checking in another couple and showing them their room, the gentleman from the first couple showed up walking into their room and saying hi to everyone. I politely redirected him to his own room. He seemed embarassed and confused. The other guests I was checking in smiled and chuckled a bit (as though they just chalked it up to too much to drink). No harm done.
While I was running their paperwork and gathering some things they had asked for, I got to thinking that this gentleman was probably going to enter the wrong room again and I didn't want them getting overly upset with him, thinking he was doing it on purpose or was drunk or something.
As I saw it, I had two choices:
1) Do as I always try to do and respect everyone's privacy and say nothing.
2) Break confidence and let the second couple know that the person may do it again and that he doesn't mean it.
I chose #2. When I brought something they had requested to their room, I informed them that it may happen again and gave them the short version of why. They seemed to appreciate the situation and thanked me for letting them know.
I partially regret the breach of confidentiality, but I also think it will make for a more gentle stay for all involved. I am ok with what I chose to do but I bring it up here so we can hash it over and you can consider an option that might be right for your own setting should something similar arise.
 

seashanty

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hmmmm .... tomorrow i would approach the wife and tell her he got a bit confused and went to the wrong room. ask her what she would like you to tell other guests if this happens again ... i think you've explained yourself very well here ... sensitively and kindly. i'd probably have done the same thing.
 

JBloggs

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This scenario has happened recently (a week ago) to a forum member who might contact you off forum.
If it were me, I would ask the wife if it were okay to mention to the other guests, in case he gets disorientated. Being near water worries me in that situation more than other guests being disrupted.
 

Copperhead

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We recently had a couple under the same conditions. This was the first time the couple had been away from home since her diagnosis and the couple had been given a GC for our place by a group of friends. Luckily they made the reservation on a week day when we were less busy. He never left her side the entire stay, as we heard her ask several times where they were. He stated that this provided HIM the rest he needed as he only had to take care of her and not all the other details.
2 things Ben: I take it your rooms do not lock? Otherwise you could have just told the other guests that for their own privacy and security they should keep their door locked. The second thing is that I would have very kindly and sensitively discussed the need for the wife to stay with her husband since he is out of his home environment and could get confused and try to find his way home.
 

BenCognito

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This scenario has happened recently (a week ago) to a forum member who might contact you off forum.
If it were me, I would ask the wife if it were okay to mention to the other guests, in case he gets disorientated. Being near water worries me in that situation more than other guests being disrupted..
"Being near water worries me in that situation more than other guests being disrupted."
No pool here :(
 

BenCognito

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Our rooms lock, and we always suggest keeping rooms locked when going out. My bigger concern was them getting upset/annoyed if the confused guest keeps trying their door even if it is locked. Patience often comes with understanding. If they just thought he was drunk or being funny, he might be more likely to get a black eye.
I will talk with the wife today. She just seems quite worn out...but maybe that is my simpathy over-reading things.
 

muirford

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I had a similar situation about a month ago - a gentleman who has been here before but has started to 'wander'. After his first night here, he put two 6-packs of beer in a just-vacated guest room that he thought was the library and next to the guest refrigerator, and my housekeeper found him sitting on a bed in another room that she had just made up for arriving guests. Yes, our doors lock but when we are turning them they are unlocked and generally unlocked until the guests' arrival. That day, we shut all the doors until the guests actually arrived.
My housekeeper also saw him trying his key in several of the guest room doors, apparently having forgotten which room was his. And he accused her (my housekeeper) of stealing his beer when he couldn't find it in the library at lunchtime. She had brought it downstairs thinking it abandoned by the previous guest.
He was travelling with his spouse and another woman friend, in two separate rooms. I mentioned that he left the beer in a guest room, not the library, to both of them after the lunch incident. His spouse just yelled at him for going into a guest room - not very helpful.
The final incident came when I was sitting at my desk with just them in the inn but our OQ door was closed. I heard someone lifting the hook/eye latch on the basement door and opened our door to find him looking for the powder room. I directed him to the powder room and asked him to stop trying to open unopened doors as they were private areas and full of dangerous stairwells. His other traveling companion heard the exchange and they seemed to make a better effort to stay with him after that. But I was very concerned the whole time that he would walk into another guest's room - maybe they were in the inn but had it unlocked - or rattle doorknobs and freak people out. It was a long three days, and they have rebooked for next year.
We have that happen to us at a B&B in Spain - someone who was drunk, and confused our patio door with her own, banging and yelling at 2:00 in the morning for her husband to let her in. In English - she was a Brit. It is disconcerting to say the least to be in a strange place and have someone trying to get into your room.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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This scenario has happened recently (a week ago) to a forum member who might contact you off forum.
If it were me, I would ask the wife if it were okay to mention to the other guests, in case he gets disorientated. Being near water worries me in that situation more than other guests being disrupted..
"Being near water worries me in that situation more than other guests being disrupted."
No pool here :(
.
BenCognito said:
"Being near water worries me in that situation more than other guests being disrupted."
No pool here :(
Good to hear!
 

gillumhouse

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Our rooms lock, and we always suggest keeping rooms locked when going out. My bigger concern was them getting upset/annoyed if the confused guest keeps trying their door even if it is locked. Patience often comes with understanding. If they just thought he was drunk or being funny, he might be more likely to get a black eye.
I will talk with the wife today. She just seems quite worn out...but maybe that is my simpathy over-reading things..
She just seems quite worn out.
She probably is. The beginning and middle stages are the hardest on everyone. Not totally in La-La Land so you try desparately to hang on to the person you love while they are still "home" (not out lunch is my term for it) but you never know when "out to lunch" is going to happen. There is still a stigma attached to families who take their people to a nursing home. I have one daughter who said she will never let me go to one and I immediately whipped around to my son while everyone could hear saying - It is YOUR resonsibility to make sure I AM put in a nursing home and it is purely selfish on my part - THEY will know how to take care of me and I want to be well-cared for.
If anyone thinks keeping track of a toddler is hard, try taking care of a devious adult who has become paranoid about the person closest to them because of the Big A. Mom hid things while "out to lunch" and then accused me of stealing them when she was "home".
 

ginocat

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I would have said something to the other guests without hesitation. I have a responsibility to them as well as the guest who is ill.
 
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