Technology continues to provide brilliant new answers to old problems. Many seniors are looking for new ways to determine how to choose a senior living community. One smart way communities like The Heritage at Brentwood® are accommodating those seniors and their families is with virtual tours and appointments. Though this is a very practical solution for anyone who lives out of town or is practicing social distancing, many people aren’t completely sure how to take a virtual tour or how to continue the process beyond that initial appointment. To help clarify, here is an overview of the process and some helpful tips to make the most of a virtual tour.
How to take a virtual tour
A virtual tour — or personal online tour — begins in much the same way as a traditional, physical tour. A senior or their family calls or emails a community to set up an appointment. They can arrange a FaceTime call, a Zoom call or a prerecorded video of the areas of the campus the senior is most interested in exploring.
If they select a live call, the community representative contacts the guest at the time of the appointment and begins the tour. A charming host will walk the guest through the grounds as if they were strolling alongside each other.
If the senior selects the prerecorded video option, a community representative will film and narrate the tour and send a link to the video that the senior and their loved ones can view at their leisure.
Why take virtual tours?
- It’s a convenient way to explore out-of-town communities.
Many seniors are looking to move closer to their children in retirement or have decided on a destination retirement. Virtual community tours let them see the campus for themselves without the expense of travel.
- Seniors can include more family members or friends.
When making a big decision, like a move to senior living, seniors often want to consult with the important people in their lives. A virtual tour lets them include more people than they might normally for a traditional on-site visit.
- They have time to collect their questions.
Campus visits can be an exciting whirlwind of new sights and information. If a senior selects a prerecorded video tour, they can pause or go back to a section and write down their follow-up questions to make sure they have all the answers they need to make a decision.
- They can keep a safe distance.
If a senior or their loved ones are adhering to social distancing guidelines, virtual tours let them visit the campus without coming within 6 feet of a guide or other residents. As they get closer to making a decision or to moving into their residence, communities like The Heritage at Brentwood will make smart, thoughtful accommodations to ensure their safety, but touring online allows them to explore several campuses with the utmost caution.
- Better for those with mobility issues.
If a senior or their loved one has trouble walking for longer periods of time, a senior living virtual tour allows them to explore without overtaxing themselves.
Questions to ask senior living communities on a virtual tour
Any appointment is about determining how to choose a senior living community that is right for the senior. Bringing a list of pertinent questions to ask senior living communities can help ensure the senior feels more confident in their ultimate choice.
- Are residents permitted to customize their apartment or villa?
- What dining options are available and are the hours flexible?
- How would you describe the culture among the residents?
- Are pets welcome on campus?
- What are some of the most popular resident activities?
- What sort of care options are available on-site, if needed?
- How will higher levels of care affect the monthly payment?
- How will the community make the move as smooth as possible?
These questions are simply suggestions. If a senior has a particular interest or priority, the community would be happy to answer questions about that important topic.
What are the next steps?
After a personal online tour, the community will continue to help the senior get all the information they need to make their senior living decision. If the senior would like to arrange a follow-up tour to see other parts of the campus, the community would be happy to arrange that. If the family would like more information about services and amenities, community representatives can provide additional resources. If a senior would like to speak with a current resident to get a firsthand account of life in the community, a representative could connect them to a potential new neighbor. This is the senior’s journey to control — along with their family — and the community is here to help.