Brookdale Senior Living, Senior Lifestyle and Life Care Services have the highest rankings in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Senior Living Satisfaction Study, released today.

Brentwood, TN-based Brookdale and Chicago-based Senior Lifestyle, at 843 points out of 1,000 for overall customer satisfaction, were tied among assisted living/memory care providers, and Des Moines, IA-based Life Care Services, at 855 points, ranked highest among independent living operators.

J.D. Power released the results of the first Senior Living Satisfaction Study in 2018. The 2020 study differs from ones in 2018 and 2019 in that for 2020, the market research company separately measured the independent living and assisted living/memory care segments to “allow branded operators in each segment to benchmark performance against segment-specific competitors.”

In assisted living/memory care for 2020, Louisville, KY-based Atria Senior Living (833) ranked third, Newton, MA-based Five Star Senior Living (832) ranked fourth, and McLean, VA-based Sunrise Senior Living (826) ranked fifth. In independent living, Five Star (778) ranked second and Brookdale (764) ranked third.

The survey measures overall satisfaction across six factors of the senior living experience (listed here in alphabetical order): community buildings and grounds, community staff, dining, price paid for services received, resident activities, and resident apartment/living unit. The study is based on 4,992 responses from senior living residents and their families within the previous three years. It was fielded June through August.

Researchers also found that, amid continued worries about COVID-19 outbreaks in senior living communities nationwide, the families of assisted living/memory care residents generally are very satisfied with operators.

“For independent living residents, factors such as activities, dining, staff and cost are of similar importance,” said Andrea Stokes, hospitality intelligence lead at J.D. Power. “For family members of assisted living/memory care residents, cost is twice as important as dining or activities. This indicates that assisted living/memory care providers need to emphasize the value of their services to family members who are often financially responsible for their loved one.”

Other key findings: 

  • Families of assisted living/memory care community residents give communities an average rating of 8.24 (on a 10-point scale) for their overall response to COVID-19. Among the most frequently recognized pandemic-related efforts are an increased focus on cleanliness, changes in procedures to promote social distancing, and offering advice/guidance on how to deal with the pandemic.
  • One of the biggest opportunities to improve family member satisfaction within assisted living/memory care communities is providing easy access to the executive director or general manager. Almost half (48%) of family members said that the executive director or general manager is not very easy to contact when needed.
  • Among independent living residents, interactions with staff members have the second biggest positive effect on overall satisfaction with the community. Despite this high level of influence, only 44% of independent living community residents indicated that staff members periodically inquire about their satisfaction.
  • Overall satisfaction scores among family members increased when community staff members showed that they care for residents on a personal level. For example, when staff members try to ensure that a resident feels like part of the community, satisfaction increases 142 points on a 1,000-point scale. When family members believe that the staff understands their loved one’s medical history, overall satisfaction increases 153 points.

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