If you’re choosing a senior living community, the stay-at-home order doesn’t have to put a pause on your process. Seniors and technology are no strangers these days; there are many ways you can still research, explore, and even decide on a senior living community to call home. All you need is a Wi-Fi connection.
FaceTime Tour with a Retirement Counselor
Many retirement counselors are currently offering virtual tours via FaceTime, which is becoming a popular and convenient way to look around a senior living community. If you want to tour a retirement community, ask your retirement counselor to walk you through campus on FaceTime. They can show you the on-site amenities, the residence you could potentially live in, and answer all your questions. If you’re new to FaceTime, you’ll be happy to know it’s easy to use. Just Google “how to use FaceTime” or “How to use group FaceTime” (if you’d like to include a loved one or other friend in the conversation) and read a resource or two to get started.
Questions to Ask Your Retirement Counselor
While you have a retirement counselor on the phone, this is a great time to ask any questions you have. To get you started, here are a list of questions you’ll want to have answered:
- What health services are offered on-site?
- How does the community ensure safety and security?
- What services and amenities are included?
You’ll likely get into a conversation about cost when you’re seriously considering a community, but if this is your first interaction with a community, start with the basics. What do you need to know that could potentially rule out a community as an option for you?
360-Degree Virtual Tour
If you’d like to tour a retirement community at your leisure, some communities have virtual tours available on their website. These virtual tours offer photos and/or videos of the community and its apartments. They’re interactive, so you can click through the apartment or building as if you’re walking through it.
Photo and Video Galleries on Website
Most communities have a photo and video gallery on their website. This is a great way to get a feel for what the community looks like. Sometimes communities post pictures from events they’ve had, so you can get an idea about what social gatherings at the community are like.
Google Maps and Google Street View
You can type in the address of the community on Google Maps, and then check out what’s around it. Which restaurants are close? Is there a shopping center nearby? Any parks, museums or theaters? Where would the nearest grocery store or hospital be? How far away is the community from your grandchildren’s house, the highway or the airport?
Then, select “Street View” to take you to a photographed version of the community. Similar to a virtual tour, this will show you what the outside of the community looks like. You can click around to “walk” down the street and check out the neighborhood.
Attend Virtual Event or Webinar
Some communities are hosting virtual events or webinars right now to keep current and prospective residents informed and engaged. Check the Events page of the community’s website to see if they’re offering any events, or ask your retirement counselor if they’re hosting any.
Read Reviews and Testimonials Online
You can often find resident testimonials on a community’s website to see what people love about the community or what makes it particularly special for them. But remember, the community chooses what goes on their website, so it can also be helpful to check the reviews on sites not controlled by the community, like Google reviews and Yelp. Checking these sites will give you multiple sides of the story. Always remember, no matter what other people say about a community, your experience will be your own, so don’t let one negative review deter you; proceed with your journey until you’ve decided whether or not it’s the right place for you.
Browse the Community’s Social Media
Facebook, Instagram, and sometimes Twitter and Pinterest can be great ways to keep up with the community on a daily basis. This is where you’ll find pictures posted by the community and updates about what’s going on. Social media can be a great way for you to learn about the community from a more intimate perspective.
The relationship between seniors and technology has made it possible to continue their search for senior living and stay connected to their loved ones while we’re staying at home. We hope our tips and ideas will make choosing a senior living community easier for you. Explore Lexington Square’s Elmhurst and Lombard communities virtually by scheduling a tour online, and we’ll connect you with a retirement counselor who will help you get to know us, contact-free.