Consumers Rank Top 5 Factors for Choosing a Senior Community

Cleanliness is next to godliness, as the saying goes, and consumers seem to have that in mind when considering a senior living community, according to the results of a survey released by hygiene technologies company Ecolab.

Ecolab develops and markets cleaning, sanitizing, maintenance and repair products and services for the long-term care facilities market and recently published the results of a May 2014 public opinion survey of more than 400 Americans aged 40 or older who have played a role in or were currently in the process of selecting a senior living community. 

Most of the respondents were searching for independent or assisted living on behalf of someone else and were asked to weigh what factors influence their decisions, and what expectations they have for services and amenities offered by the communities. More than half of the people surveyed were baby boomers. 


One question asked respondents to rank how important several factors were to them when deciding which senior living community to choose, ranging from “not at all important” to “extremely important.” 

The top five most important aspects are as follows:

  1. Overall cleanliness of community/living spaces (important to 96% of respondents)
  2. Comfort and ambiance of resident apartments (91%)
  3. Quality and variety of food (85%)
  4. Frequency of cleaning services such as laundry or housekeeping (82%)
  5. Other amenities and services offered (81%)

Cleanliness, the top choice, was “extremely important” to more than half (51%) of respondents, tying into an overwhelming majority (93%) agreeing with the statement, “If a community isn’t clean, it suggests to me that the staff might not take good care of the residents either.”


“This research confirmed what we intuitively know to be true. First impressions count, especially when it comes to cleanliness,” said Leah Larson, director of Long Term Care Marketing for Ecolab’s Institutional business, in a statement. 

Other important factors considered include accommodation for special diets, in-house exercise and recreational activities, availability of favorite foods, and in-room wifi.

However, while only 43% of consumers overall considered in-room wifi to be “important,” Ecolab’s survey also revealed a divergence in what prospective residents and adult children view 

Just 5% of respondents searching for senior living on behalf of someone else ranked in-room wifi as important, while 51% thought the overall cleanliness of the community was important. In contrast, respondents who were searching for a community on their own behalf ranked in-room wifi slightly more important than overall cleanliness (40% versus 39%).

“This research indicates that one size does not fit all when it comes to selecting a senior living community, and different decision makers have different priorities,” said Larson.

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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