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Assisted Living Satisfaction

Residents Very Happy. Staff a Bit Behind.


Assisted Living Satisfaction
Shannon Fagan

The first national survey measuring the assisted living satisfaction of residents, family and staff of assisted living facilities was published in the fall by My InnerView, a National Research Corporation company. When it comes to assisted living satisfaction, residents seem very happy while workers are less so. The latter impacts the former. Let's take a look.

Assisted living is not as highly regulated as nursing homes and because of state regulatory definitions and structure, what constitutes an assisted living facility varies. Yet the wants and needs of residents, families and employees is not much different than their nursing home counterparts.

My InnerView surveyed:

  • 35,860 Customers
  • 13,074 employees
  • encompassing 1,348 assisted living facilities in 48 states.

While My Innerview has collected data on assisted living for years, this report was the first annual National Report specific to this segment of the industry.

Customer surveys contained 34 questions for residents and 25 for families while the employee survey contained 21 questions.


  • The majority of residents (81%) were 80 and older, with almost one third being 90 or over.
  • More than two thirds (68%) of residents have lived in a facility for over one year at the time of the survey.
  • Most residents are visited by family once per week (59%) or daily (18%).
  • More than half of employee responders (58%) were caregivers, with nursing representing 20%, personal care staff 38%.
  • Just over half (54%) of employees were over 40 while 29% were younger than 30.
  • Eight-one percent worked in their facility for more than a year.

For comparison, you can also take a look at their survey for the nursing home industry.


The ultimate question for any business is "Will You Recommend Us to Others?" In that regard:

  • 91% of residents would recommend their facility.
  • 945 of family members would do the same.
  • 91% of residents were satisfied overall with the care.
  • 93% of family members were satisfied overall.

Residents and family members agree on the top three measures of their satisfaction:

  • respectfulness of staff
  • comfort of room and surroundings
  • safety of the facility

They disagree on the areas that did not live up to their expectations.

For families, those areas are:

  • quality of laundry services
  • appeal of food
  • comparison of charges

For residents, those areas are:

  • appeal of food
  • variety of meals
  • adequacy of storage space

What Drives Satisfaction?

For residents, responsiveness of management and providing a home-like atmosphere drive recommendation.

For families, the competency and care of staff are most important.


Here is how employees rated their facilities.

As a place to recommend to receive care:

  • 84% of personal care assistants would recommend it as place for care.
  • 87% of nurses would recommend.

As a place to recommend for work:

  • 73% of personal care assistants would recommend it as a place to work.
  • 77% of nurses would recommend.

And their overall satisfaction stacked up like this:

  • 71% of personal care assistants were satisfied overall.
  • 75% of nurses were satisfied overall.

Both nurses and personal care team members rated highly the following: having a sense of accomplishment, respectfulness of staff and care (concern) of their supervisor. The lowest area of satisfactions for both were comparison of pay, assistance with job stress, comparison of benefits.

It is no surprise that My InnerView concluded that higher family satisfaction scores correlates with higher resident satisfaction scores and higher employee satisfaction correlates with higher family satisfaction. These results happen when there is a true culture of exceptional employee and resident experience in the organization.

Healthcare quality improvement has traditionally been focused on the clinical aspects of care whether in a assisted living, nursing homes, hospitals or in the home. Many skip over the fact that healthcare quality starts with people. And empowered people led by inspiring leaders are the key to quality improvement in aging services.

As the assisted living industry grows so will the expectations of baby boomers who need them. It will be interesting to track future surveys in this category.

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