What Makes Residents Happy?

At this year’s Environments for Aging conference, President and CEO of ProMatura Group Margaret Wylde, shared what her consumer research firm has learned about creating living spaces for seniors that lead to the highest resident satisfaction.

The audience, mostly architects and designers, might have been surprised at Wylde’s conclusions, but I was not.

According to Wylde, resident satisfaction is not determined by pristine landscaping or upscale interior design. Nor is it the amenities or activities that generate the highest satisfaction.

IMG_3258When surveyed, the assisted living residents chose two things by a wide margin:

  • A place that feels like home
  • A place to make friends

A recent article in Environments for Aging gives more details about Wylde’s research and conclusions. She expands on her topic in an interview with Long-Term Living magazine: What 55+ Consumers (Don’t Call Them Seniors) Want in Their Living Environments.

Fans of Kind Dining®, and the retirement communities that are already reaping the rewards of the Kind Dining® curriculum, know my research and experience has consistently revealed the same insights.

A stunning chandelier and beautiful furnishings in the lobby might be good for an initial impression, but they do not address what is typically the most pressing resident needs: warm, friendly service that inspires a feeling of belonging and skilled support for socialization.

And why should anyone be surprised? Would you choose a beautiful, lonely place to live? Or would you prefer a place where you feel welcome, comfortable and surrounded by friends, regardless of the decor or activities?

Want to create a place that feels like home? Train your dining staff to build relationships one meal at a time. Study after study shows server training pays big dividends.

If you have questions or would like more information on how to get started creating a senior care community that feels like home, call Cindy Heilman, MS, DTR at 503-913-1978.

About Cindy Heilman

Cindy is the founder and owner of Kind Dining®, which she began in 2006. She’s traveled across the country and Canada working with and training senior living communities that want to create an exceptional dining experience for their residents and staff. In addition, she certifies select professionals in her Kind Dining® philosophy and provides tools, now in an eLearning format, that make learning stick and help people put insights into action. As a result of her work, clients often share their staff has a new sense of purpose, get along better and keep their focus and energy on what matters most. In fact, she wrote a book, Hospitality for Boomers on how to attract residents and keep good team members. In her free time, she enjoys walking Oregon trails and cheering on her favorite soccer teams, the Portland Thorns and Timbers.

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