How to Best Monitor Resident Satisfaction at Your Senior Care Facility

Every day, senior care facilities have to meet strict standards, including state and federal regulation requirements. While such a focus on performance and metrics is important from a legal standpoint, resident satisfaction is an equally important measurement of a facility’s performance. But monitoring resident feedback is just the beginning; that information only has real value when the facility knows how to appropriately respond to it.

Factors Affecting Resident Satisfaction

Sam Paider

Sam Paider, administrator at Trillium Woods

Understanding resident satisfaction is complex, and the factors that most contribute to a resident’s happiness will vary depending on the resident and the senior care facility. According to the 2021 study, Reliability and Validity of the Resident Satisfaction Index in Assisted Living, factors like meaningful relationships, social activities, a homelike physical environment, positive interactions with caregivers, and access to health care all impact overall satisfaction.

However, other factors specific to the resident and facility, including the resident’s gender and health status, can also impact satisfaction. Residents who have more depressive symptoms or who have more significant cognitive or functional impairments often have lower satisfaction levels than residents without those health impairments. Even factors like the facility’s size and amenities play a role in satisfaction levels.

Measuring Resident Satisfaction

Monitoring resident satisfaction can provide a senior care facility with valuable feedback, as well as insight into residents’ contentment and wellbeing. That satisfaction also impacts the entire facility. Sam Paider, administrator at Trillium Woods, explains that resident satisfaction is a key pillar to the way of life at The Birches at Trillium Woods. “When residents are happy, our families, associates, providers, and vendors are satisfied,” she says.

Paider notes that Trillium Woods uses several methods to monitor resident satisfaction. Those methods include surveys and verbal and written feedback from residents and families. “Surveys are a great way to track and trend commonalities between feedback, while verbal and written specific feedback helps us enhance each resident’s experience,” she explains. “We also hold frequent family council meetings to continue to solicit feedback and incorporate it into any process improvements.”

Given that satisfaction can fluctuate over time, it’s important to monitor it on an ongoing basis. When Trillium Woods residents are discharged from transitional care, they receive a discharge survey that asks about key areas of care. Every two years, Trillium Woods provides an all-resident survey to gauge feedback.

Implementing Change Based on Resident Satisfaction

While a high degree of resident satisfaction can indicate a facility is performing well, a facility also needs to be prepared to take action if it discovers lower satisfaction among residents. Paider explains that Trillium Woods uses the feedback it receives in multiple ways. The Quality Assurance Performance Improvement Committee reviews the results of discharge surveys to focus on any areas for improvement. The facility’s interdisciplinary team also meets daily to monitor resident and customer satisfaction and ensure that feedback is addressed.

“If something doesn’t go according to plan, those concerns are tracked and trended to ensure we are addressing any key themes of concerns,” says Paider. “We then focus on how we can enhance those themes and identify any opportunity for service recovery as warranted. We monitor progress and adjust solutions as necessary to continuously improve. When something goes well, we highlight those experiences the team provided.”

She notes that in addition to responding to satisfaction and feedback, it’s also helpful to take a more proactive approach. “We prioritize anticipating resident and family needs to enhance resident experiences,” she says, noting that it’s just as important to anticipate family needs as it is to respond to feedback. “Actively listening and empathizing with residents and their families helps us understand and act upon their comments, concerns, and questions.”

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