The key to winning the hearts and minds of senior living community residents and their families is ensuring the facility has a great staff that communicates clearly, knows personal details about residents and makes them feel like they are part of a community. According to the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Senior Living Satisfaction Study, released today, a large number of senior living facilities are delivering on those criteria regularly, but many still have a great deal of room for improvement.
“It should come as little surprise that senior living facility residents and their families are looking for a true community experience,” said Greg Truex, Managing Director of J.D. Power Health Intelligence. “An engaged, attentive staff plays a major role in creating that environment. However, with one-fifth of residents surveyed for the study saying that they were never given an in-person orientation to their community and more than half saying the staff does not know anything about them personally, there is room for industry-wide improvement.”
Following are some key findings of the 2019 study:
- Delivering satisfying resident experiences is key to referrals and retention: Higher overall resident satisfaction scores are directly correlated with increased referrals and reduced turnover. Among those residents whose overall satisfaction with the community facility 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.
- Community staff is critical in decision-making process: When looking at all the factors that make up the senior living experience, the quality of staff and service is crucial. Nearly half (45%) of residents say the quality of staff and services led them to choosing their community. This ranks second only behind convenient location (54%).
- In-person orientation plays major role in building feeling of community: In-person orientation meetings are a key part of making residents feel like a welcome part of the community. Overall satisfaction among residents who participate in an in-person orientation averages 146 points higher than among those who have not had an orientation. Still, 20% of residents say that they never received an in-person orientation.
- Personalized attention matters: Overall satisfaction scores climb 89 points when staff members perform six or more positive tasks that show they care for residents on a personal level. These include 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 say community staff deliver on these criteria.
Life Care Services ranks highest with an overall satisfaction score of 843. Sunrise Senior Living (794) ranks second and Five Star Senior Living (787) ranks third.
The J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Senior Living Satisfaction Study measures resident and family satisfaction with the nation’s largest providers of residential communities for seniors. Overall satisfaction is measured across seven factors of the resident experience (listed in order of importance): services and activities; community staff; food and beverage; new resident orientation; resident cost; community and grounds; and resident apartment unit. The study is based on responses from 3,021 residents (or their decision-maker) living in an independent, assisted-living or memory care community within the previous five years. It was fielded in June through August 2019.