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Virtual Community Tours: Take a Senior Living Tour from Home

Written by Mary Salatino
5 minute readLast updated May 19, 2021

Quality of service and access to information are important considerations when deciding to move an aging loved one into assisted living or another type of senior care. A community tour can help your family gather the information you need to choose a new home for your aging loved one — but busy schedules might make it difficult to tour communities in person. The flexibility of virtual senior living tours allows families to explore senior living at their own pace, all from the comfort of home.

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A Place for Mom (APFM) launched their Community Tours mobile application in May 2020. Since then, families have been able to experience virtual senior living tours through user-friendly phone and desktop apps.

The APFM virtual touring experience is available nationwide for families to easily and securely connect with more than 6,300 communities across North America. Up to four parties can experience a tour at once, making it easy for you to connect with long-distance family members regarding the care of an aging relative.

Nearly 70% of families who used APFM’s services to move a loved one into senior living in the fall of 2020 used a virtual Community Tour, with 84% finding the tour helpful or extremely helpful, according to an APFM survey.

Let our care assessment guide you

Our free tool provides options, advice, and next steps based on your unique situation.

6 reasons to take a senior living virtual tour

  1. Virtual tours are accessible. Time, distance, and circumstances can prevent in-person community visits. Sometimes, a senior moves to a different town to be close to relatives or has mobility issues that could complicate extra visits. Virtual tours make communities accessible to seniors and families in all locations and situations.
  2. You can save time. Families, on average, go on four senior community tours before making a senior living decision. These trips take time and can be difficult to fit into a hectic schedule. Virtual tours save on time spent in the car traveling to and from each location.
  3. Virtual tours help you narrow down to your top choices for in-person visits. Live video tours allow a dynamic window into resident life, complete with visuals of unique activities, food, and amenities. On a virtual tour, you can talk to community representatives and see how residents and staff interact to ensure your loved one will be treated well.
  4. Video tours bring families together. More than 50% of families need agreement from multiple relatives to make a senior living decision, according to APFM. The Community Tours mobile and desktop experiences allow up to three groups plus a community representative to join from different locations.
  5. Communities can showcase technology for seniors. Updated technology improves senior living. Medical technology and communication devices reduce the dangers of isolationand keeps seniors safe. A good virtual tour shows the community is comfortable with technology and will use it to enhance your aging relative’s experience.
  6. Virtual conversation helps the community learn about you, too. Unlike a pre-recorded video, a live virtual tour opens up dialogue to help determine if your loved one and the community is a good fit. Not only are you and your family learning about the community, but the staff is also paying attention to your loved one’s personality and needs. You can discuss medical concerns, dietary preferences, social life, and more.

What to expect from the Community Tours experience

  • Senior Living Advisors. A Place for Mom’s advisors will schedule everything, giving you peace of mind to focus on your aging family member.
  • Accessibility. The Community Tours virtual experience is designed specifically for senior living communities. It has all the features families need to make informed decisions, without unnecessary functions that can complicate technology use.
  • Scheduling. Community Tours will email you alerts and appointment reminders. It also gives you the ability to schedule or reschedule at your convenience — no need to spend time on the phone coordinating visits.
  • Real-time communication. Pre-recorded video tours are a great way to get a sense of senior living options, but they can be less personal and interactive. With Community Tours, your family can ask questions throughout the live virtual tour, ask to see specific areas of the community, and have a full conversation with the community representative.
  • Ease of use. Traditional video apps — such as Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime — can lead to frustrations over having to learn, download, and manage a new platform for each virtual senior living tour. With APFM, your family can choose between an easy, universal mobile application or a desktop version you can access online — no download required.
  • Privacy. Your Senior Living Advisor will provide you and your family with a unique code to ensure a secure connection. This facilitates safe sharing of personal questions and health concerns.

How to schedule a live virtual tour

After speaking with a Senior Living Advisor­­, you’ll receive an email with a tour link. Simply click on the link at your scheduled tour time to connect with a community representative who will escort you throughout the community and assist you with questions.

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Our advisors help 300,000 families each year find the right senior care for their loved ones.

Community Tours offers mobile and desktop-friendly options, which means you can use it on any device. Using the emailed link, family members can log on using a home computer, laptop, tablet, or cell phone, making virtual visits more accessible to family members who are less tech-savvy or who might not own a smartphone.

Using the mobile app

  • You can download the free app in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.
  • Smartphone tours are portable and flexible, allowing users to join their families anytime, anywhere.
  • A user-specific code ensures your connection and tour are secure.
  • The same app can be used for every tour — no need for multiple downloads.

Using the desktop version

  • There’s no need to download an app — your Senior Living Advisor will email a code to join the tour online.
  • Emails with clear, easy graphics help anyone with the code join the tour — all you have to do is click the link provided.

Live video tours are here to serve you.

Virtual senior living tours have become a stepping stone in the senior living decision-making process. Live virtual tours allow families a convenient, comfortable space to narrow down which facilities to tour in person, and provide flexibility to local families who require input from out-of-town relatives before finalizing a decision for their aging loved one.


Meet the Author
Mary Salatino

Mary Salatino is a copywriter at A Place for Mom. She has worked as a freelance journalist and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in magazine editing from the University of Missouri-Columbia. While in Columbia, she wrote and edited for several city publications.

The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical, legal or financial advice or create a professional relationship between A Place for Mom and the reader.  Always seek the advice of your health care provider, attorney or financial advisor with respect to any particular matter and do not act or refrain from acting on the basis of anything you have read on this site.  Links to third-party websites are only for the convenience of the reader; A Place for Mom does not recommend or endorse the contents of the third-party sites.