Senior living facilities are offering virtual tours because COVID-19 is making in-person tours unavailable to prospective residents and their families.
For example, Jason Rodriguez, executive director for Cedar Creek Life Center in Merritt Island says that the facility offers a tour over FaceTime of the amenities and rooms that the center has to offer.
"They basically go over the same tour path as you would a normal tour," Rodriguez said.
The tours at the various facilities can be extensive and detailed, such as is the case at Victoria Landing Assisted Living and Memory Care in Melbourne.
"We walk you through the website. All of our floor plans are on our website," said Lindsey Deaton, marketing concierge and social media director at Victoria Landing. "…We have done it before because there’s some people who don’t live in town."
Mike McBride, spokesperson for RiverView Senior Living Resort in Palm Bay, said the production to put together their virtual tour, which can be accessed via the virtual application on the resort’s website, was quite involved.
"There’s a whole crew that comes in with all kinds of equipment that maps the environment. For a place like Riverview that takes an entire day," said McBride, who also said RiverView offers FaceTime tours as well. "Once they have it, they have a virtual 3D-environment that people can just wander through on their computers."
Some facilities had these measures in place prior to the outbreak of the virus.
"We’ve done it a small handful of times over the last year or so to where it was something familiar with us," Rodriguez said.
Yvette Jenkin, director of sales and marketing at Chateau Madeline in Suntree, said that the tours with Chateau Madeline, could become more prevalent moving forward.
"We actually see doing it more and more even after all of these COVID-19 results hopefully have been resolved," Jenkin said. She added that the tours have been primarily conducted over Zoom but could be done over other applications as needed. "….We have been successful with the virtual tours."
In these extraordinary times, a sense of continuity can be refreshing. Courtneay Springs Village in Merritt Island has taken that tact.
Dan Maggard, a spokesperson for the facility, said that personnel there can utilize Facetime, Skype or Facebook messenger as they "go through our normal process and we walk everybody through the steps that we would have here in person and that would be the most optimal way cause then we can live-time answer questions and give feedback as we go."
He also added that they have a second option of sending videos that people can view on their own time.
"For us, we try to keep it as normal as possible," Maggard added.