US News Recognizes Nearly 1,300 Senior Living Communities in First ‘Best Senior Living’ Ratings

Senior living operators have long looked for new ways to convey quality and differentiate their communities from their competitors. Now, they have another tool in their toolbox.

U.S. News & World Report on Tuesday published its first-ever 2022-23 “Best Senior Living,” list, which designates senior living communities as “best” in several categories: Independent living, assisted living, memory care and continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs).

The list also recognized 25 of the highest-rated senior living communities by name. To receive that distinction, communities had to win a “best” rating in all three categories: independent living, assisted living and memory care.


They include Abbotswood at Irving Park, a Kisco Senior Living community in Greensboro, North Carolina; Addolorata Villa, Franciscan Ministries community 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 Senior Star community in Davenport, Iowa; and Garden Spot Village.

To earn the accolade, senior living operators participated in a consumer satisfaction survey from Activated Insights between March 2021 and earlier this year in April. Almost 2,500 senior living communities met U.S. News’ eligibility criteria, with a little more than 1,270 senior living communities and 73 CCRCs and life plan communities recognized as best in one or more of the categories.

“We don’t want to pit one community against another — we want to raise all boats,” Activated Insights CEO Dr. Jacquelyn Kung told SHN last year, when the ratings were first announced.


Activated Insights and Kung are familiar names in the senior living rating world. In addition to putting together the list for U.S. News, the organization gathers and analyzes data for the annual Best Workplaces in Aging Services list that appears in Fortune magazine.

Global marketing information services company J.D. Power also assembles its own annual senior living satisfaction report, though that list includes operators, not individual communities.

The U.S. News list offers a new standard of quality for senior living operators — something the industry has sorely needed over the years, according to Chris Hollister, CEO Pegasus Senior Living. A dozen of the Dallas-based operator’s communities ended up on this year’s list.

“Having people know where you can go and get good objective information from a trusted source is huge,” Hollister told Senior Housing News.

It is also a chance to help set their communities and services apart from their competitors, according to Larry Rouvelas, CEO of IntegraCare. The Wexford, Pennsylvania-based company has 15 communities in three states — 12 of which were included in the U.S. News ratings this year.

“I think awards like this will be very helpful to get at 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.

‘Reputation, reputation, reputation’

Leaders of senior living operators that won this year’s award, including those at IntegraCare and Dallas-based Pegasus Senior Living, see the list not only as an achievement worth celebrating, but also as an important tool for standing out among senior living residents and their families.

U.S. News tabulated data collected by Activated Insights, with residents and family members participating in surveys and rating communities in areas such as value, location, safety, food quality and variety, management and staff.

To be included in the inaugural list, communities and operators had to meet certain qualifying standards, achieve a minimum weighted score and pay a small fee to cover the cost of administering the survey.

U.S. News has a monthly distribution list of more than 40 million people, meaning that the list will potentially be seen far and wide. That surely comes as good news for an industry that has struggled with bad press and consumer confusion since the pandemic began in 2020.

Integracare, for example, plans to include mention of the award in its marketing plans, as well as display the badges earned with the distinction. The company also will hold a celebration for the workers at the 12 communities in its 15-property portfolio that made the list, according to Rouvelas.

“In spite of all the challenges the industry has had operationally over the past couple of years, the fact that they’re able to deliver services in the eyes of residents and families that are better than our competition, I’m very proud of that,” he said.

Pegasus is also developing a marketing strategy involving the new awards, which it plans to roll out soon to promote the accolade.

The new list will also help prospective residents and their families separate new “shiny penny” communities with those that are more established and offer quality services. That is important, given that many residents only seem to look at a building’s age and appearance 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 prospective residents and their families also look to Google pages or reviews on websites such as Facebook or Yelp when picking a new community.

But with a new standard for senior living from U.S. News, Hollister believes quality operators can better stand out from the pack. For example, he said a prospect might drive for ten minutes longer down a road to visit a community recommended to them by a trusted source.

In the past, the trusted source might have been a friend or a coworker. But as rankings from well-known national sources like U.S. News become more common and well-known, he is hopeful they will help entice more residents to trek just a little farther to see a community that has earned the distinction.

“The old real estate adage is location, location, location — with us, its reputation, reputation, reputation,” Hollister said.

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