A Place for Mom, the largest senior living referral service in the nation, announced on Monday the launch of an online consumer review component.
SeniorAdvisor.com allows visitors to submit and review consumer feedback on more than 100,000 senior living communities and care services across the country. The site currently features more than 17,000 reviews, and about 82% communities currently have a three-star-or-better-rating.
The launch comes after other senior care resource websites, including Caring.com, Silver Living, and SeniorHomes.com, have announced, launched, or grown similar initiatives.
“Choosing a senior living community is an extremely important and emotional decision, and people want to feel confident they have made informed choices. In support of this, we are consistently asked if we have consumer reviews and ratings of senior living communities,” said Sean Kell, CEO of A Place for Mom, in a statement. “Based on this demand, we’ve created SeniorAdvisor.com, designed to become the nation’s largest and most comprehensive source for senior living and eldercare reviews, ratings and unbiased information.”
Before publishing reviews, SeniorAdvisor.com plans to verify them using a variety of sources, including the 200,000 families A Place for Mom helps each year to find senior care options, and the company’s network of senior care partners that includes more than 18,000 senior living care and services providers. When a senior living community or service listed on the website claims ownership of its profile, it will have the ability to invite consumers to review its business.
The reviews will be on a five-star rating scale system covering five categories: care, cleanliness, activities, value, and friendliness. Consumers will be able to view a community or service’s individual scores on these categories along with an overall rating.
Reviewers will also be able to post personal comments explaining their ratings, or give general insight or feedback about a community or service.
The website’s search tools will allow users to search for listings with designated geographic locations and specific desired amenities. Consumers will also be able to use SeniorAdvisor.com to request tours of communities, organize scheduled tours, and send text message reminders of favorite communities.
“Today’s savvy consumers are proactively seeking the opinions and experiences of others. Many shoppers read reviews of movies, restaurants, hotels and other products before they buy, so it’s not surprising that they expect this kind of information to be available for senior living services,” said Eric Seifert, President, SeniorAdvisor.com. “In line with other service industry reviews, we’re seeing about 82% of our ratings on SeniorAdvisor.com land at three stars or better. It will be exciting to watch how this progresses as the number of visitors to the site increases.”
Senior living provider trade group the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) also recently announced the launch of a consumer web resource, powered by Caring.com, for consumers searching for senior care.
Caring.com says its 2 million monthly visits makes it the Web’s number one source of senior care reviews, while SeniorHomes.com and Silver Living both have more regional operations on the West and East coasts, respectively.
While some senior living providers are apprehensive of consumers’ ability to post unscripted reviews of communities, a few are using it to their advantage and taking the opportunity to respond to reviews and demonstrate their willingness to address issues.
Written by Alyssa Gerace