Best of 2017 Awards Best of 2017 Awards

Why are these people smiling? They live and work at some of the best-rated senior living communities in North America—those in the top one percent in terms of resident and family satisfaction. And they’re showing off some of the rewards for that accomplishment, banners and plaques that tell the world what a great job they’re doing.

The 2017 Best of Senior Living Awards help families find the best possible communities for loved ones who can no longer live at home. They also instill a sense of pride in hardworking employees and make it easier for communities to recruit the best possible caregivers, chefs, and staffers, which helps create an even better experience for everyone. Awards and great reviews also help senior-care businesses to thrive and grow. That’s because the majority of consumers today check online reviews before making major spending decisions, and studies show that up to 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as word-of-mouth recommendations.

Great reviews and awards are natural promotional tools, too, that communities can include on their websites and in their brochures. They can also generate local media attention through press releases and the kind of spotlight we’re about to shine on these award-winning communities.

Independence Village of Frankenmuth – Frankenmuth, MI

Independence Village of Frankenmuth

Between Saginaw and Flint, the “Little Bavaria” town of Frankenmuth is home to one of the best-reviewed independent living communities in the state. IndependenceVillage of Frankenmuth has won positive reviews from residents and family members for its kind and supportive staff, good food, transportation services, and friendly community culture.

Among the amenities for residents are opportunities for creative expression, including a music lounge with a piano, a fully stocked art studio, woodworking and crafting spaces, and a community garden. An exercise center, spin room, onsite health services, and customized fresh menus make healthy living a daily pleasure. A cozy library, an onsite salon, and a pets-welcome policy all add to the community’s warm feel. Independence Village residents also enjoy freedom from chores, with onsite maintenance, chauffeured transportation, and housekeeping and linen services provided.

The Hearth at Hendersonville – Hendersonville, TN

The Hearth at Hendersonville

Northwest of Nashville, residents at The Hearth at Hendersonville enjoy life on Main Street in the top-rated assisted living community in town.  Residents and relatives said they like the fresh-made, heart-healthy regional cuisine as well as the way staffers go out of their way to make sure everyone feels welcome to participate in parties, excursions, and clubs. Residents had great things to say about other aspects of The Hearth, too, such as the onsite movie theater, consistently clean apartments and community spaces, and weekly live entertainment.

Speaking of clubs, residents of The Hearth at Hendersonville are spoiled for choice. In a typical week, residents can meet up with the walking club, bridge club, knitting group, lunch bunch for dining out in town, men’s group, Saturday first-run movie group, Sunday classic movie matinees, and “Mix, Mingle & Manicure” sessions.

Because The Hearth at Hendersonville is a continuum-of-care community, residents have the on-site living options they need, ranging from independent living and assisted living to memory care, all in one picturesque setting.

StoryPoint Rockford – Rockford, MI

Storypoint Rockford

StoryPoint Rockford, just north of Grand Rapids, focuses on “food, fun, family, and friends,” and reviewers think it’s a winning combination. The best assisted living community in Rockford, according to’s verified reviews, gets high marks for its “modern and bright” décor, helpful staffers who make a point of remembering visitors and welcoming them back, and “a positive vibe.” One reviewer who previously worked in the senior care industry wrote that after her visit,  “I myself would love to live there! StoryPoint gives me hope for our aging population.”

Part of StoryPoint’s appeal is the apartment amenities, which include secure WiFi, appliances that meet ADA accessibility standards, wheelchair accessibility, grab bars for safety in the bathrooms, large closets, and call buttons. Services for residents include round-the-clock assistance, regular housekeeping and linen laundry, transportation, and back-up generators to keep the lights and heat on if there’s a local power outage.

Dining areas include a cafe, sports-bar style bistro, restaurant-like dining room, and a private dining room for family events and special occasions. Wellness amenities include a massage room with a licensed therapist, on-site salon and barber services, and fitness classes.

Independence Village of Aurora – Aurora, OH

Independence Village of Aurora’s 2017 Best of Assisted Living winner in Aurora, Ohio, is Independence Village. Resident reviews focused on the number of activities they can choose from at Independence Village of Aurora, such as fitness classes, trips to local shopping centers, ceramics classes, happy hours with food and live music, and monthly Grand Buffets.

Besides building a strong assisted living community, Independence Village of Aurora also works to keep residents connected to the wider local community by hosting events “alongside the chambers, churches, and senior centers” including holiday events, craft fairs, business expos, and student-senior volunteer and educational projects.

At home, residents had good things to say about the food, especially the coffee, the abundance of fresh fruit, and the dedication of the chef and kitchen staff to meeting residents’ tastes and needs. Fresh-baked breads and pastries are the icing on the cake.

Independence Village of Waterstone – Oxford, MI

Independence Village of Waterstone

Oxford, Mississippi’s best-rated independent living community is Independence Village of Waterstone, a place reviewers describe as clean, caring, and comfortable. As one reviewer said, “They have an atmosphere that is family style, where you get the feeling you belong the moment you walk in the door.” Independence Village is part of the fabric of Oxford life, too. Town residents who provide services to the facility and gave it positive reviews include a local minister, a banker, and a preschool staffer who works on inter-generational events between the school and Independence Village.

Among the amenities residents enjoy here are lake and golf course views, paved paths for walking, an aviary filled with finches and canaries, and a courtyard for daily outside time, seasonal parties, and musical performances. Crafters, woodworkers, fitness buffs, and singers will all find hobby groups to participate in. And—a common theme among this year’s award winners—residents have lots of positive things to say about the food.


These are just a few of the 2017 Best of Senior Living Award winners, as chosen by resident, family, and visitor reviews. You can find the entire list of winners here to help you find the right community or to see how a strong review program can raise your community up to award-winning status.


Casey Kelly-Barton is an Austin-based freelance writer whose childhood was made awesome by her grandmothers, great-grandmother, great-aunts and -uncles, and their friends.

1 Comment

  1. stella October 17, 2017 Reply

    Thanks for sharing it with us.

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