5 Tips for Touring a CCRC Virtually
While touring a potential senior community in-person has always been the norm, the rise of COVID-19 has led to a new way of visiting – virtual tours. We expect video conferencing visits to continue beyond the pandemic, since it is more convenient and possible as technology becomes more and more advanced. However, touring virtually can be very different than in-person tours.
With that said, here is our guide of invaluable tips when touring a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) virtually.
1 – Make a date. It’s important to put a dedicated amount of time aside to do your virtual tour, just as you would for an in-person visit. Luckily, there’s so much flexibility that comes with this technology, so you can work it the time of day that works best for you. Choose a time when you aren’t feeling rushed, under pressure or stressed out.
Watch the tour on your computer or stream it to your TV, so you can really see all the details. Take notes, do extra research on the community’s website, and – above all – keep in mind your priorities when choosing a CCRC. These tours are very high quality and well made, but it’s important to always focus on how practical and well-suited this space is, especially if you are selecting a community for a loved one.
2 – Look at the layout. The first thing to focus on is the physical environment of the community – is the building clean, in good repair, and attractive? Will they be able to accommodate seniors with mobility issues easily? Look at common areas, gardens and the space where you or your loved one will live, checking for safety issues, privacy and convenience, as well as the atmosphere of the environment. Are they in a room or apartment? Is there space for couples to live together? Is there a pleasant view from the windows?
3 – Consider the services. There are as many different types of CCRC as there are fish in the sea, and they vary by location, structure, cost and services. While all these factors are important, services are one of the most critical factors in choosing the right community. Ideally, your virtual tour should include the different services available, with the best options giving you a choice of what services will form part of your or your loved one’s package.
Many people don’t want to move often, so it’s good to look for a community that can add services on as they are needed. This can range from very basic assistance for independent seniors right up to full-time nursing and memory care for residents with dementia. CCRCs allow you or your loved one to age in place when care needs change.
4 – Write down questions and concerns. One great thing about virtual tours is that you can view them as many times as you want. Write down questions or concerns as you go through the tour, and try to watch it a few times to see what catches your eye and what may be an issue. This way, when you join a virtual conference to discuss your move, you can get more details and a clearer idea of how the CCRC works.
5 – Don’t stop at one. Virtual tours are free and hosted on many CCRC websites, so there’s no limit to how many you can go on. It’s a good idea to do some basic research on each community’s website to see if it sounds like something you or your loved one would like. This can include things like whether or not it is close to family and friends, if it has a good location in a senior-friendly town/coastal area, if it is faith-based or not, if they offer rooms or entire apartments, and so forth. This will help you initially narrow down your options. By going on several virtual tours and keeping notes, you can compare how the communities are different, and what really matters most in this decision-making process.
At Bristol Glen, our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey, emphasizes an independent senior lifestyle that offers security, medical and non-medical assistance, and abundant socialization opportunities with other seniors.
If you want to find out more about our NJ Continuing Care Retirement Community, you can watch a virtual tour, read about our senior care services and more all on our website at: https://umcommunities.org/bristolglen/