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When I took my Dad to tour a senior living facility, as soon as he walked into the lobby he said "where do I sign?" before even seeing his possible apartment. I know it wasn't easy for Dad to move from a large house into a 2 bedroom apartment but he was happy there were no stairs as he became fearful of the stairs at his house. He loved the attention from the Staff.
Since Dad's future apartment was still under rehab, he signed up, and what I did for the two weeks we needed to wait, I took Dad over there for the afternoon social hour so he would become more comfortable with the place, the other residents and Staff. That worked out beautifully :)
The AL that my cousin first went to did a great job of asking for her input about meals, entertainment, socials, physical therapy, etc. and offering her options. Which is great, because they maintain control over their life. The AL that she was at had a lot of live music performers. Several came each week. It was a big hit and the dining room was full of residents singing, clapping and enjoying themselves. If she might like that kind of thing, I'd go during those times.
I assume your niece is a responsible grown-up. If she is also likely to be in regular contact with her grandmother, then yes it's a good idea for her to be introduced to the staff; if not, it might be better for whoever will be the most frequent visitor to provide the escort.
Is it wise for your mother to look round the facility? ?!?!?!? Would you not be mildly curious about a place you would soon be calling home? Of course it's wise. In fact I'd say, all things being equal, that it's essential.