Assisted Living

10/15/2020 | By Seniors Guide Staff

Due to COVID-19 concerns, many individuals are using the internet to do research and to virtual tour assisted living communities.

Every assisted living community will have a website. Although the quality of these websites will vary (some will be “bare bones,” while others have dozens of pages of information) – it is still possible to conduct worthwhile research on these sites.

In addition to scouring websites for available information, it will also be necessary to interview the facility’s management team via telephone; or, more ideally, video chat via Facetime, Zoom, or Skype.

Here’s a few tips on how to efficiently learn what you need to know from each community’s website. This way, you can make an informed decision on which assisted living community would be best for you or your loved one.

Virtual Tours for Seniors

Prepare a list of dozens of questions to which you want answers, and make several copies of it. At the top of each list, write the name of the assisted living community that you’re researching.

Researching facilities without carefully noting down the information you find is asking for trouble! It’s easy to get confused after visiting three or four websites – which facility promised which amenities? How much did that one cost per month?

By writing down all details as you find them, you’ll be able to go over them again at your leisure and be able to compare each one.

What questions should you ask?

Many websites will have a FAQ page which will give you insights into what questions you should ask.

Many of those that refer to cost, however, typically aren’t answered on the website. Instead there’ll be verbiage encouraging you to call.

But when it comes to cost, these are the types of questions you should ask:

  1. What are the sizes of the apartments, and what is the rent for each?
  2. Is daily care covered in the rent, or are their additional charges for services?
  3. How long of a lease must you sign, and is a deposit needed?
  4. Are there any “move in specials”?

… And so on.

Don’t make that call until you’ve gone through their site thoroughly and compiled all other information that you can glean from their site.

Missing information on a website doesn’t necessarily reflect badly on the facility itself; it just means you’ll have to ask more questions when you do call each facility’s representative.

Need some help? Check out (and download a PDF) our list of “Questions to Ask When Visiting a Community” here!

Go through each website systematically.

Here’s a few more questions that each website should be able to answer:

  • Will the resident and his or her family be included, when it comes the process of designing a care plan?
  • Is there staff available 24 hours a day?
  • What kind of training does each staff member receive?
  • What daily activities are offered to the residents?

Now, how can you find these answers?

Let’s take a random site from the web. Let’s say you conduct a Google search on “Assisted Living Community in Los Angeles.”

Look at the SERPS (search engine result pages) carefully. The first few results might have the word Ad in front of them, meaning the facility has paid to have its facility be at the number 1 spot on the search results. Most people, when searching the web, only look at the results on the first page. However, there will be dozens of pages of links to other facilities.

But let’s go with BridgePoint at Los Altos as our example – their website is (Note: this facility is merely an example!)

This website makes a lot of information available to you.

There is a tab for Living Options (because they also offer Independent Living), another for Floor Plans (which do include costs, with the qualifier, “starting at”; and a costs calculator!), and a tab for Virtual Tour – which offers the viewer a 360-degree virtual tour of the facility (in essence a slide show).  

(Surprisingly, not all assisted living community websites offer a virtual tour slide show!)

Under their About tab, they have pages for Safety & Security, Dining, Management, and News and Events. Then there’s a Gallery, featuring photos of the facility.

Be sure to read the information under every tab.

Click on the next entry down, Aegis Living of Granada Hills.

Their site has plenty of information too, including floor plans, but rather than including pricing, there is a form to fill out so a representative can contact you.

After you collect information from each site, then call.

Choosing the right assisted living community will require a lot of research.

As you go from one website to another on your virtual tour of assisted living, you will become more and more familiar with what questions you should ask; that way, you’ll have a better understanding of all the information presented to you.

Take a few days to go through the sites, before you start making phone calls to each site.

Have your checklists ready, and you’ll be able to ask the right questions of each representative of each facility.

Then you’ll be able to make your best informed decision before making an appointment for a physical tour.

Seniors Guide Staff

Seniors Guide has been addressing traditional topics and upcoming trends in the senior living industry since 1999. We strive to educate seniors and their loved ones in an approachable manner, and aim to provide them with the right information to make the best decisions possible.

Seniors Guide Staff