Where are the Best Senior Living Communities in the US, According to Families?

Best Senior Living Communities

Think back to the last time you were looking to eat out at a restaurant, or stay at a hotel, or hire a plumber. The first thing you probably did was ask your friends and family for recommendations. Then, you probably checked out the online reviews, right? Online reviews are ubiquitous these days – they’ve permeated every industry and you see them whenever you are making any kind of purchasing decision.

Last week, we announced the SeniorAdvisor 2013/14 Excellence Awards. The awards recognize outstanding senior living communities that have received consistently high ratings from residents and their families in 2013-2014. Winners of the Excellence Award are located all over the country and represent the top tier of independent living, assisted living, and Alzheimer’s care communities on the SeniorAdvisor.com website. This exclusive designation places the winners in the top 1% of over 100,000 senior living communities nationwide, according to reviewer-submitted feedback by residents and their loved ones.

What Makes an Excellent Community?

The winners stood out among their peers for consistently receiving high marks among ALL FIVE rating categories on SeniorAdvisor.com:

cleaning

  • Cleanliness

“The place is extremely clean and at least twice a month they provide transportation to and from outings. She didn’t want to go there but she has adjusted very well. They are all in one building the laundry and cafeteria, her hairdresser is in the same building, even a little store inside. She doesn’t have to leave the building to do any of her day to day things and this takes a huge weight off of my shoulders.”
– Linda C, Forest Ridge in Hales Corners, WI

  • Friendliness

“I was looking for a home for my 85 year old Mother who has dementia and I believe I found the perfect spot for her at Redwood Heights. My first communication was with Rosalind and what an amazing lady. She spent over an hour on the phone with me and finally 2 years later and many, many phone calls and tears we finally got mom situated in her new beautiful home. I had looked at many others but they just didn’t have that warm fuzzy feeling like Redwood Heights.”
– J Fritz, Redwood Heights Assisted Living in Salem, OR

  • Value

dollar sign“We just moved my mother there and the supportive care program was the important part of our decision. She has limited funds for another year and a half and the supportive care program will allow her to keep her apartment once her funds run out. This facility, unlike others, accepts Medicaid.”
– Len, Victory Centre of Bartlett in Bartlett, ILnurse

  • Care Services

“The memory care is quiet, calm and has a very relaxed atmosphere. It is beautiful like being at a very high end hotel. The staff is very down to earth, wonderful and they care for our mom like she was their own mom. They are very well trained and have years and years of experience dealing with memory care residents. My mom has been doing very well here. My dad and I feel very at ease with her being there, it provides us peace of mind.”
– Lori L, Wyoming Springs Assisted Living in Round Rock, TX

  • Activities

“She was not eating well living alone and was lonely, staying in bed until 11:00 am most days! She is now up at 8:30 am as she doesn’t want to miss breakfast and do the exercise class! She plays games, goes on outings, attends social events and is adding years to her life!! In just two weeks I’ve seen her come alive and she looks so much happier! I am not worried about her now that she has a new HOME!! This has been a great decision for all of us!”
– Susan S, Anaheim Village in Anaheim, CA

Why a Great Dining Experience Stands Out

turkey

In addition to the five categories above, the winning communities had one more thing in common: good food! The deliciousness of the meals and the type of dining experience offered really makes an impression on families. Reviewers love a variety of meal options, extended dining hours, and the taste of home-cooked food.

“When I was visiting the food Chef Brennan makes is so tasty and I loved that he came out into the dining room to meet me. The executive Director Michelle has been at the community for 20 years!! The apartments are very large and have been updated. The staff is warm and friendly. I love that the dining room is open from 7AM – 7PM!!”

– Anonymous, Farrington Court in Kent, WA

Deep Connections with Staff at Communities

Ultimately, what makes a community is the people. The winning communities all shared a genuine caring and heartfelt compassion exhibited by the staff and caregivers. Reviewers blew the SeniorAdvisor team away with some of their stories – stories about how family members have completely transformed and taken a new lease on life upon moving into the community; stories about how family members still keep in touch with some staff for years after their loved one has passed; stories about how a community welcomed a resident with open arms… the list goes on. See for yourself!

caregiver

“It is hard to explain what Emeritus has done for my Dad. He’s been there only a few months and he is better than he was over a year ago. It’s truly amazing. He’s happy, hungry, participates in activities and more. I’m really happy for my Dad knowing that he is getting superior care.”
– Denny M, son of Clyde M, Emeritus at Fox River in Appleton, WI

“When she passed away, they were there to mourn with us. We are so thankful that we were able to find such a loving environment for our mom’s final days.”
– Vicki & Dale Z, Accent Living in Laguna Niguel, CA

“The food was great, weekly entertainment, and most of all caring staff. Mom spent her 100th birthday with a full party and entertainment provided by Atria. After she became ill and was confined to her room and bed, the caregivers treated her like she was family. They were also concerned about me and wanting to help wherever they could. Our family will always remember the care given to Mom in those last months…We will be forever grateful to Atria staff and caregivers for their care and compassion.”
– Olivia’s daughter, Atria Grass Valley in Grass Valley, CA

Online reviews are a great way to get information on senior care communities you’re considering for yourself or a loved one, or to stay informed once you’ve already moved in. But with these winning communities, the SeniorAdvisor team found they can also be a great way to put a quick smile on your face and brighten your day.

Did one of the communities you’re considering make the list? How about the communities where your friends or family live? Take a look at the communities near you and view the full list of award-winning senior living communities on SeniorAdvisor.com. You can even read reviews of A Place for Mom – the largest senior living referral agency that will also most likely help consumers in their search for care options.

What do you think? Would reading about other people’s experiences help you?

Based in Austin, TX, Amelia is the Content Marketing Manager for SeniorAdvisor.com. When she’s not writing about online reputation management, online reviews, and social media in the senior living space, she enjoys yoga and running with her dog Rockefeller. She graduated from Wellesley College cum laude with a dual degree in English and Medieval/Renaissance Studies.

21 Comments

  1. shirley January 27, 2014 Reply

    best in az/ and in laguna niguel,ca. md

  2. Patricia Ali January 28, 2014 Reply

    I am a 60 yr old disabled widow with low income and would like some advice about rental assistance in California . I need either a studio or a one br apartment I’ve been searching and calling and I haven’t gotten anything I need. I don’t need to live in supported living I’m capable of living in an apt pls help !!?? Thank you in advance, Sincerely, Ms. Patricia Ali

    • Author
      Amelia Willson January 29, 2014 Reply

      Hi Patricia! At this time, we are a site for self-guided research on senior care options, but do not make recommendations ourselves. If you are interested in a free, personalized senior care recommendation, please call (866) 333-7320 to talk to a local advisor who will work with you to find options based on your specific needs and budget.

  3. Karen January 28, 2014 Reply

    Please list the best Independent living facilities/cottages in Florida (and why). I am a still functioning 67 year old woman alone, who wants to know she will be cared for now, and in the future as I have greater needs.
    Thank you!!

    • Author
      Amelia Willson January 29, 2014 Reply

      Hi Karen, here is a list of the top-rated independent living options in Florida. If you are interested in a free, personalized senior care recommendation, please call (866) 333-7320 to talk to a local advisor who will work with you to find options based on your specific needs and budget. Thank you!

  4. Debbie Marshall January 28, 2014 Reply

    Does anyone have any comments about The Park in Niles,Il. I am investigating this community for my parents for spring of 2014

    • Author
      Amelia Willson January 29, 2014 Reply

      Hi Debbie, you can see what families think by reading the reviews for The Park at Golf Mill in Niles, IL. Additionally, if you are interested in a free, personalized senior care recommendation, please call (866) 333-7320 to talk to a local advisor who will work with you to find options based on your specific needs and budget. Thank you!

  5. forex automated trading robots March 24, 2014 Reply

    Very nice article. I absolutely love this site. Keep it up!

  6. Mandy May 16, 2015 Reply

    I am looking for advice on how to raise enough money through crowd funding or government funding so I can open a 300-400 bed Assisted Living Community Unique to all others. I want to cater to ALL income levels. I want ALL elderly to get outstanding, first class care. Our facility will have 100% solar powered electric, grow our own fruits and vegetables (with the help of our residents or purchase directly from a farm. Everyone will feel needed, like they have a purpose, no matter how big or small the task. PLEASE HELP WITH SUGGESTIONS AND SUPPORT for me to make myself and many elderly, including their families and friends dream living come true…. Everyone has a purpose no matter what or when…. Help!!! Two heads are always better than one!!!! I want to open The Dignity Community 🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺

  7. roberta rutkowski August 25, 2015 Reply

    Hello..I am a very young 69..but recently had a concussion from an assault..I am a widow of two and a half years and until recently have lived with my son who is a disabled Gulf War Veteran..

    I own my own home..and car..with the recent concussion, I realize that I may need to make a move to a Senior Ctizens area..coplex…

    I am wondering about Eldercare..

    My telephone number is 716-283-7857 thank you..I will be available Wednesday all day at this number that would be the 26th..thank you

    • Author
      Amelia Willson August 25, 2015 Reply

      Hi Roberta,

      Thanks for reading! Please give us a call at (866) 592-8119 to be connected with a local Eldercare Advisor who can help you sort through your options based on your needs and budget.

      Best,
      Amelia

  8. Angela February 19, 2016 Reply

    Hubby and I are in our mid-60’s, looking for retirement apartments in the area of Olympia, Aberdeen, Port Angeles, and others can’t find one without horribly bad reviews concerning senior care. We would like to be in one for independent housing that also has facilities as we age, when we need assistance.

  9. rathbonehome March 15, 2016 Reply

    Great article! Thank you for all the information.

  10. Carolyn Adams July 1, 2016 Reply

    I am a 68 year old female who had excellent in home care with a housekeeper and nursing services from an RN. I am a high functioning and disabled. I have arthritis in my right knee, soft tissue injury to my shoulder, a hyper mobile right SI and soft tissue damage to the soft pad of my right foot. I had an excellent physical therapist at Anne Arundel Medical Center’s Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy Center in Annapolis, MD. I am planning to move to Atlanta, Ga. to be close to my daughter and her family. My daughter has no experience or understanding about how I function here at home. I need information on how to share information with my daughter, options and services in Atlanta, Georgia. Can you help me?

  11. Liz November 6, 2016 Reply

    We are seeking assisted living In Ocala, FL for our 94 year old mother. She is blind in one eye, diabetic and uses a walker due to a stroke several years ago. She owns her home, would love to stay in it, but has fallen twice in the kitchen and thinks now that might be time to start looking at assisted living. Her doctors and friends are here and we would hate to mover her north where we reside. What are our options here.

    • Author
      Amelia Willson November 8, 2016 Reply

      Hello Liz, thanks for reading and commenting! Please visit http://www.SeniorAdvisor.com to view the options for your mother in Ocala or call us at 1-800-805-3621

  12. nan k March 13, 2017 Reply

    FR MN I am not interested in all the luxury that will keep me inside. I am interested in therapy pool(s) with treadmills and bikes in there and no chlorine as the filtering system. I am also interested in being on or near a college campus as this is becoming the way for the 60 year olds. Also, I am finding that some are sending me information on independent cares where most are in their 80’s and good for them, but I am not there yet. I also think BLUE ZONE COMMUNITIES or creating one would be best for all-all wlak together and socialize together and often care for another-the Norweigian models. Since I have l have lived with many when I was in college, I also think seniors of particular ages and interests could share homes and get along just fine. There would be more money for them this way. I will absolutely not be in Minnesota for 1 more damp winter season, and that includes spring. A dry state is fine with me as southern new Mexico, northern San Diego and or some parts os AZ or NV.

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