Where are the Best Senior Living Communities in the US, According to Families?
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:
“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
“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
“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, IL
“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
“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
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!
“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.
What do you think? Would reading about other people’s experiences help you?