Measuring Satisfaction in Assisted Living

Benchmarks Studies Show Residents Very Happy. Staff Not So Much

assisted living satisfaction
Measuring satisfaction in assisted living is hard because there are few common measures. A new survey tool is helping. And to be sure happiness with the dining experience is one thing sure to be measured.. Getty Images

One of the big initiatives in assisted living is constructing common benchmarks for measurement. Since every state enforces assisted living differently, it is hard to come up with common measures that not only help the facility perform better but help the consumer compare options better. Until recently there has been no one survey process for measuring satisfaction in assisted living.

My InnerView, a National Research Corporation company, recently initiated a survey process for assisted living.

When it comes to assisted living satisfaction, residents seem very happy while workers are less so. Let's take a look.

While assisted living is not as highly regulated as nursing homes, the wants and needs of residents, families and employees is not much different than their nursing home counterparts.

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.
  • Most residents are visited by family once per week (59%) or daily (18%).
  • More than half of employee responders (58%) were caregivers.
  • Just over half (54%) of employees were over 40 while 29% were younger than 30.
  • Eighty-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.
  • 94% 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.
  • 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.

    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.

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