Life Care Services has earned the highest overall score in the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Senior Living Satisfaction Study, the results of which were released Thursday.

The Des Moines, IA-based organization — No. 2 on the American Seniors Housing Association’s list of the country’s largest senior living operators and No. 3 on Argentum’s list — had an overall satisfaction score of 843 on a 1,000-point scale, making it “among the best,” according to J.D. Power. Life Care Services also achieved the highest score possible in all seven study factors: resident services and activities, community staff, food and beverage, new resident orientation, resident cost, community and grounds, and resident apartment unit.

Sunrise Senior Living and Five Star Senior Living also were deemed “better than most,” and Senior Lifestyle also scored above the industry average.

J.D. Power surveyed 3,021 people who have lived in U.S. independent living, assisted living or memory care communities within the past five years, or family members and friends who make decisions for them. The survey was conducted between June and August, and a total of 441 surveys were completed for Life Care Services.

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“Our company is privileged to serve nearly 35,000 seniors across the nation. The J.D. Power award represents the voice of the senior living customer, and I can’t think of a more important voice than that of the residents we serve,” Joel Nelson, president and CEO of LCS, the parent company of Life Care Services, said in a statement. “I continue to be inspired by the passion our employees have for our industry and for the seniors they serve. We are grateful for and humbled by this honor.”

Sunrise, with an overall score of 794, ranked second on the 2019 list, and Five Star, with an overall score of 787, ranked third, making them “better than most,” according to J.D. Power.

Senior Lifestyle also scored above the industry average score of 770, with a total score of 781. Brookdale Senior Living placed near the industry average, with a total score of 768.

Atria Senior Living (739), Holiday Retirement (730) and Capital Senior Living (727) also were ranked.

See more details about the organizations’ total and individual factor scores here.

Survey highlights

J.D. Power funds the study independently, using responds from third-party sources such as online panels and a list of respondent mailing addresses, Greg Truex, the company’s managing director of health intelligence, told McKnight’s Senior Living.

“Then, any provider or community can subscribe to the information we collected in order to benchmark themselves with the data they collect, or partner with J.D. Power to collect Voice of the Customer data on their behalf to benchmark their performance and develop a customer satisfaction roadmap, using industry best practices, to exceed resident expectations,” he said.

Key findings of the study could be beneficial to all senior living providers. The survey revealed:

  • Higher overall resident satisfaction scores are directly correlated with increased referrals and reduced turnover. Among those residents whose overall satisfaction with a community is 900 or higher (on a 1,000-point scale), 91% say they “definitely will” stay in the community, and 90% would recommend the community to friends and family. Conversely, when satisfaction scores are lower than 600, just 6% of residents say they will remain in the community, and 9% would recommend it.
  • Location was the most important factor in community selection, but staff / service quality was No. 2. 45% of residents said the quality of staff and services led them to choose the community in which they live. Only convenience of location ranked higher (54%).
  • In-person orientation plays a major role in building a feeling of community. Overall satisfaction among residents who participated in an in-person orientation averaged 146 points higher than among those who had not had an orientation. Twenty percent of residents said that they had not received an in-person orientation.
  • Personalized attention matters. Overall satisfaction scores increased 89 points when staff members performed six or more positive tasks indicating that they care for residents on a personal level. Such tasks included knowing personal details about the resident, communicating clearly, offering to assist with issues and greeting residents in a friendly manner. Industry-wide, just 53% of residents said community staff deliver on these criteria.