Five Star Senior Living Receives Three 2010 "Best of the Best" Awards for Innovations in Senior Living

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Five Star Senior Living's award-winning Alzheimer's Dining Program, Fall Prevention Program, and customer service focused sales training program bring benefits to both seniors and caregivers.

Five Star Senior Living offers unique Alzheimer's Care, a focus on preventing falling, and a customer-focused sales training program to help seniors find assisted living options that best suit their personal preferences.

The industry-wide benefit of the Best of the Best Awards is the program’s ability to multiply excellence as other companies in senior living adopt these best practices as their own.

The Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) has awarded Five Star Senior Living, headquartered in Newton, Massachusetts, three of its prestigious 2010 Best of the Best Awards, a national recognition reserved for the most innovative and effective business practices in the senior living industry. The company is one of only 25 companies to receive a Best of the Best Award this year.

Five Star Senior Living has been recognized for three separate innovative practices, each of which will be recognized within Assisted Living Executive magazine and during the Awards Program at the 2010 ALFA Conference & Expo:

  •     Five Star Senior Living's Alzheimer's disease care program, called Bridge to Rediscovery, has a unique approach to food and dining. The program gives assisted living residents who have Alzheimer's disease or other dementia-related illnesses more control and independence at mealtime - and encourages them to eat well and to eat enough. Traditionally, to minimize dining complications, Alzheimer's care programs predetermine menu selections for residents. However, Five Star Senior Living serves meals "butler-style" in a restaurant-style setting. Platters are placed on the table for residents to see choices and to help themselves or others if they would like seconds. The ingredients, ambiance, and hydration practices have been updated in accordance with the latest research. Residents have responded well to the dining program with increased interaction and food consumption. Appetites have improved, and weight loss has been reduced, as has reliance on supplements.
  •     Five Star Senior Living's project called "Fall Prevention Is Everybody's Business… Not Just Clinical!" was initiated when the company's regional health director, Bonnie Thomas, RN, noticed that falls can happen anytime, anywhere for seniors. Thus preventing them should be a focus for all staff members throughout each senior living community, and not just a focus of the nursing or medical staff. The project began with a two-day kickoff event for all nursing and activity directors in Thomas' region. Participants took home binders full of creative ideas for decreasing falls to share with other staff at their communities. Since the training, both the number of falls per month and the number of falls resulting in injury have dropped below the company threshold at participating communities.
  •     The company's "Selling the Five Star Difference" training program was developed last year to improve sales and marketing strategies, and to offer better customer service to families looking for assisted living or senior living for themselves or for a loved one. During the training, sales team participants learn strategies to: satisfy customers, target referral sources, analyze the market, and recruit their team. The training sessions also allow Five Star Senior Living to have a consistent sales process that works for the company's diverse communities. Five Star credits the training for helping the company retain its market share despite the challenges of a down economy.

"These innovations recognize companies that have put their imaginations to work to continually improve and streamline operations, enhance resident care and services, train and retain quality employees, and much more," says ALFA President and CEO Richard P. Grimes. "Plus, the industry-wide benefit of the Best of the Best Awards is the program's ability to multiply excellence as these and other companies in senior living adopt these best practices as their own."

All 2010 winners will be profiled in the May/June issue of ALFA's flagship magazine, Assisted Living Executive. For details about each winning strategy, see the cover story of Assisted Living Executive's May/June 2010 issue, or contact Marlene Hendrickson (mhendrickson(at)alfa(dot)org). The ALFA 2010 Best of the Best Award winners will also be recognized at the ALFA 2010 Conference & Expo, May 25-27, in Phoenix.

Five Star Quality Care, Inc. owns or leases and operates 217 Five Star Senior Living communities with 22,905 living units located in 30 states. These communities include independent senior living, assisted living and skilled nursing home care communities. Five Star also operates five institutional pharmacies and two rehabilitation hospitals. Five Star is headquartered in Newton, Massachusetts. For more information, visit

About the Assisted Living Federation of America: Founded in 1990, the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) is the only national association exclusively dedicated to professionally operated senior living communities. ALFA's member-driven programs promote business and operational excellence through national conferences, research, publications, and executive networks. ALFA works to influence public policy by advocating for informed choice, quality care, and accessibility for all Americans seeking assistance with long-term care. Visit for more information.

About Assisted Living Executive magazine: ALFA's flagship publication, Assisted Living Executive reaches more than 20,000 c-level and senior executives. Published six times per year, the magazine focuses on best practices and strategic solutions that advance operational excellence for senior living companies. Assisted Living Executive is an ALFA membership benefit and also available by subscription. Go to for details. Visit the magazine's digital edition at

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Mary Ellen Greenfield

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