1,300 Elderly Communities in First Ratings of “Best Elderly Life”
Older operators have long been looking for new ways to convey quality and differentiate their communities from their competitors. Now, they have another tool in their toolbox.
US News & World Report on Tuesday published its first 2022-23 list of “Best Senior Living,” which designates communities of seniors as “best” in a variety of categories: independent living, assisted living, memory care, and continuing care retirement (CCRC).
The list also recognized 25 of the most valued senior communities by name. To receive this distinction, communities had to earn a “best” rating in all three categories: independent living, assisted living, and memory care.
They include Abbotswood in Irving Park, a Kisco Senior Living community in Greensboro, North Carolina; Addolorata Villa, a community of Franciscan ministries in Wheeling, Illinois; Aston Gardens, two Discovery Senior Living communities in Sun City Center and Bradenton, Florida; two Belmont Senior Living communities in Illinois and California; Elmore Place, a Star Star community in Davenport, Iowa; and Garden Spot Village.
To gain recognition, senior operators participated in an Actived Insights consumer satisfaction survey between March 2021 and early this year in April. Nearly 2,500 senior communities met US News eligibility criteria, with just over 1,270 senior communities and 73 CCRC and life plan communities recognized as best in one or more categories.
“We don’t want to pit one community against another; we want to increase all ships,” Dr. Jacquelyn Kung, CEO of Actived Insights, told SHN last year when the ratings were first announced.
Activated Insights and Kung are well-known names in the world of qualifying seniors. In addition to compiling the U.S. News list, the organization collects and analyzes data for the annual list of top jobs in aging services that appears in Fortune magazine.
Global marketing information services company JD Power also prepares its own annual satisfaction report for the elderly, although this list includes operators, not individual communities.
The U.S. news list offers a new quality standard for senior operators, something the industry has needed a lot over the years, according to Chris Hollister, CEO of Pegasus Senior Living. A dozen Dallas-based operator communities ended up on this year’s list.
“It’s very important for people to know where you can go and get good objective information from a trusted source,” Hollister told Senior Housing News.
It is also an opportunity to help differentiate their communities and services from their competitors, according to Larry Rouvelas, CEO of IntegraCare. The Wexford, Pennsylvania-based company has 15 communities in three states, 12 of which have been included in the U.S. News rankings this year.
“I think awards like this will be very helpful in getting what residents and families really want, which is the quality of life and care in a community, that’s hard to understand,” Rouvelas told SHN.
Leaders of this year’s award-winning senior operators, including Dallas-based IntegrraCare and Pegasus Senior Living, see the list not only as a success worth celebrating, but also as a tool. important to stand out among seniors and their families. .
U.S. News tabulated data collected by Activated Insights, with residents and family members surveyed and assessing communities in areas such as value, location, safety, food quality and variety, management and staffing .
To be included in the inaugural list, communities and operators had to meet certain qualification standards, achieve a weighted minimum score, and pay a small fee to cover the cost of administering the survey.
US News has a monthly distribution list of over 40 million people, which means that the list can be seen everywhere. Surely this is good news for an industry that has struggled with bad press and consumer confusion since the 2020 pandemic began.
Integracare, for example, plans to include the mention of the award in its marketing plans, as well as display the badges obtained with the distinction. The company will also hold a celebration for workers in the 12 communities of its portfolio of 15 properties that were part of the list, according to Rouvelas.
“Despite all the operational challenges the industry has faced over the past two years, the fact that they are able to provide services in the eyes of residents and families that are better than our competition, I am very proud of.” he said.
Pegasus is also developing a marketing strategy that includes the new awards, which it plans to launch soon to promote the award.
The new list will also help potential residents and their families separate the new “bright penny” communities with those that are more established and offer quality services. This is important, as many residents only seem to look at the age and appearance of a building to determine its quality, an “imperfect proxy at best,” Rouvelas added.
“Awards like this allow the buyer to get what they really want to buy,” he said.
Many potential residents and their families also look at Google pages or reviews of websites like Facebook or Yelp when choosing a new community.
But with a new standard for the elderly life of US News, Hollister believes that quality operators can stand out better from the group. For example, he said a potential customer could drive for another ten minutes down a road to visit a community recommended by a trusted source.
In the past, the trusted source may have been a friend or co-worker. But as rankings from national sources known as US News become more common and well-known, he hopes they will help attract more residents to walk a little further to see a community that has earned the distinction.
“The old real estate adage is location, location, location, with us, your reputation, reputation, reputation,” Hollister said.