Which Senior Living Communities Earned Top Ratings in 2013?

Online senior living resource SeniorHomes.com on Tuesday released a list of top-rated senior living communities located in nearly 20 major metropolitan markets across the United States.

To generate the Best Senior Living Awards list of top-rated and winning communities, SeniorHomes.com compiled state inspection reports, consulted with more than 200 senior living professionals to get their opinions on the quality of communities around them, and gathered consumer reviews from the SeniorHomes.com website and other online review sites.

Sunrise Senior Living and Atria Senior Living both stood out among larger senior living providers with four and two communities winning their markets, respectively, says SeniorHomes.com CEO Chris Rodde. Both companies also had a high percent of their communities land on the Top Rated list, he adds.

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Holiday Retirement, the largest independent living provider in the nation, also performed well in the contest, along with Sunshine Retirement Living, a smaller company that stood out thanks to two communities winning top honors in Houston and Atlanta.

SeniorHomes.com’s Best Senior Living Awards program covers 19 of the largest metropolitan markets throughout California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, Texas, Missouri, Michigan, Georgia, and North Carolina. The company has previously compiled top-rated lists in Seattle, Portland, and Phoenix, but released ratings for an additional 16 markets on Tuesday and plans to expand to other markets in the coming years.

Most of the metro areas covered featured multiple communities operated by the nation’s largest and most prominent senior living chains, including Brookdale, Silverado, Merrill Gardens, and Emeritus, along with smaller providers and family-owned communities. Belmont Village, Pine Ridge, Heritage Club, The Terrace, and Vintage Senior Living are among providers with multiple listings in certain markets as either a winning or top-rated community.

“One thing we’re seeing consistently is that [high ratings] has a lot to do with the people: the leadership at the community and the other people that work there,” says Rodde. “What we heard back from the local experts, and also when we told winners they had won, almost all said, ‘Wow, I have the best team out there.’ I believe it comes down to the people at that community and their tenure and commitment level.”

In order to qualify for the competition, senior living communities (including continuing care retirement communities) had to provide assisted living, memory care, or independent living services and have 10 or more beds.

When creating the ratings, the number one factor was the feedback from the more than 200 local senior care experts recruited across the 16 new markets. Among those surveyed were home care workers, hospice care professionals, geriatric care managers, and social workers—people who “basically spend their working lives in and out of those communities,” Rodde says.

SeniorHomes.com also spent around nine months collecting state inspection data as the second most important element for the ratings, with consumer reviews as the last factor.

The company then hired a mathematician from the University of Washington to build an algorithm to correctly evaluate and consider all the data, says Rodde, in order to generate a number that compares how communities rank against others in their respective metro markets.

SeniorHomes.com expects the Best Senior Living Awards program to get bigger as time goes on, with more markets covered in more states.

The awards program—along with the “Top Badges” awarded to communities making the cut—will serve as a timely resource for families during the holiday season, the online senior living resource company says, as research shows that holidays are a time when many families begin researching senior living options.

“We created the Best Senior Living Awards because the industry was lacking unbiased information for consumers,” said Rodde.  “Families are looking for help in evaluating the quality of assisted living, independent living and memory care communities in the marketplace, and this program gives them the impartial resource they’ve been looking for.”

View the full list of winners and top-rated communities.

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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