Share this article on social media!
4 Tips on How to Virtually Tour Senior Living Communities
The number of senior living communities in Central Florida alone is over 200. This is not including the surrounding cities. How do you know which one is the right community for your loved one? Do these communities meet your criteria? Are you aware of the criteria you should be looking out for? Finding assisted living in Orlando, or its surrounding cities is one of the most important decisions you will ever make.
Plus, as the Coronavirus has vastly impacted how potential new residents may properly assess a senior living community, North Star Senior Advisors would like to share tips during the tour process both in person and virtually.
Normally, one of our senior living advisors would schedule and accompany you on tours in-person to help determine if it was the right fit and ensure all your questions are answered. We also ask uncommon questions many forget to ask. During our visit, we would consider the quality of care that your loved one may receive, and what type of environment your loved one will enjoy on a daily basis and thrive in.
Now that COVID19 has quickly swept the nation, tours are both offered in-person and virtually. For virtual tours, it is offered via facetime, skype or any other video chat programs for the safety of their residents and staff. It’s important to consider what factors are ultimately important to you as well as ask the right questions, especially now that you cannot visit and see the community face to face prior to making a final selection.
Use these top 4 tips in mind on how to virtually tour senior living communities as well as in-person as well if permitted.
What to Keep In Mind Before the Tour
First and foremost, before narrowing down your search of communities, it’s mu critical to find out as much information about your loved one as possible. Of course, their care level is just as important in locating a community that can accommodate their needs, but it’s important to identify their personality and lifestyle. What does mom or dad like, what did they do for a living? What are their favorite hobbies? This can be a huge factor when deciding what senior living facility is right for your loved one.
What Can You Expect From A Community?
All Assisted Living communities in the Orlando area are privately paid and not covered by health insurance. However, there are some aid-based programs to help cover the cost. That being said, the average cost of assisted living in Florida is $3500. North Star Senior Advisors partners with over 300 communities (assisted living, memory care, and adult family care homes) in Central Florida that range from $2000 and up, depending on the level of care. The base rent includes utilities, water, laundry services, three meals a day, activities, and transportation. The care cost may increase depending on what assistance your loved one needs.
Memory care is another type of assisted living that specializes in those living with Alzheimer’s and can cost anywhere from $500-1000 more than the base rate for assisted living.
What Should You Look For During A Tour?
A senior advisor from our team will schedule and accompany you on all tours (in-person if permitted) or assist with virtual tours to represent you and make sure the right questions are asked. We have personally toured every community that we’ve partnered with pre-covid, so we have a good understanding of all that they have to offer. We highly encourage you to ask as much as you can when touring and if there is anything you feel uncomfortable asking, we will gladly step in on your behalf.
Typically, you’ll meet with a sales and marketing director who will go over a few questions about your loved one and then give you a tour of their community. It’s always great to obtain feedback from families living at the assisted living community as well. Most communities in the Orlando area offer lunch tours so you can see what the food is like!
Here is a list of common questions we highly encourage you to ask during a virtual tour:
- Are the staff members welcoming to residents?
- What is the food like?
- What is the policy for medical emergencies?
- Are monthly fees negotiable?
- How long is the wait list?
- What other questions do I need to address?
With this in mind, it’s now critical to ask additional questions now that physical tours have come to a halt:
- How will my loved ones safety be taken into consideration?
- Are you accepting new residents?
- Are movers allowed in the building?
- Can I visit my loved one after they move in?
- What are your isolation protocols?
- How are employees screened?
- Are visitors allowed and if so, how are they screened?
- How are residents receiving meals?
- Are any activities happening?
- Is there someone to assist in helping my loved buy groceries/toiletries?
- Have employees/residents been tested?
How do I Virtually Tour Senior Living?
Veteran-owned and operated, North Star Senior Advisors is here to help you make a better-informed decision while providing a guided path to senior living at no cost. Our team is made of 25 years combined experience that are all Certified Dementia Practitioners. We have a nurse on staff who can perform a virtual clinical assessment and help determine which community can accommodate you or your loved one’s level of care.
As we help navigate these waters together, we remain in constant contact with the senior living communities’ updating protocols to keep you up to date. If you or your loved one is interested in senior living and coordinating a virtual tour or in-person if permitted, please contact a senior advisor today at 407-796-1582 or visit www.northstarsa.com.