An Introduction to Five Star Senior Living
Logo for Five Star Senior Living

400 Centre Street Newtown, MA 02458
Founders: Barry M. Portnoy and Gerard M. Martin Established: 2000
(866) 531-0695

About Five Star Senior Living

Founded in April 2000 by Barry M. Portnoy and Gerard M. Martin, Five Star Senior Living is a member of the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) and ranks sixth on ALFA's 2013 Largest Senior Living Providers list. Five Star Quality Care, Inc., the parent company of Five Star Senior Living, is headquartered in Newton, Massachusetts. The public, for-profit national company - whose motto is "Expect the Best" - owns and operates over 260 independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), and skilled nursing home health care, day and wellness services, short-term and respite stays, and specialized memory care options for those with Alzheimer's. Five Star Senior Living is also the owner-operator of two large rehabilitation hospitals, several outpatient rehab clinics, and, until September, 2012, an institutional pharmacy business that was sold to Omnicare, Inc.

More than 27,000 seniors across 30 states call a Five Star Senior Living community home. At the company's leadership helm is Chief Executive Officer Bruce J. Mackey, Jr., who has served in the position of CEO since May 1, 2008. Prior to assuming this role, Mackey, a Certified Public Accountant, was the Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer for Five Star Quality Care Inc. from 2001 to 2008, during which time he also served as the company's assistant secretary and principal accounting officer. Committed to delivering services at a five-star level, the company operates by these five tenets: accountability in business, the pursuit of excellence, a bias for action based on good listening, putting people first, and acting with integrity. By following these five stars, the company hopes to maintain its reputation as "one of the country's largest providers of quality retirement living," and continue to meet -- or go beyond -- the federal and state regulations and industry standards to which their communities are held.

About Five Star Senior Living's Residents

With locations in suburban, rural, and metropolitan areas throughout the United States, Five Star Senior Living welcomes residents from all walks of life, individuals who have their own unique stories and life experiences to share. Boasting a diverse stock of historic, newly constructed and renovated properties, Five Star communities -- from Alabama to Wisconsin and 28 states in between -- are geared to consumers seeking a moderately elegant yet comfortable retirement living atmosphere, an array of vital healthcare and supportive services that can be customized to each resident's unique needs, and a robust list of amenities and distinctive features.

Senior Living Options

Reflective of the varied and sometimes daily changing needs of Five Star's residents, the company provides a full spectrum of services within a diverse array of housing options. The bulk of their properties are dedicated to independent and assisted living (about 207 communities fall into this category), and there are 38 skilled nursing facilities. Each Five Star Senior Living campus presents one, two, or a combination of the following service/housing options: independent living, assisted living, full-service or continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and skilled home healthcare, wellness and day services, respite and short-term stays, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services, and specialized Alzheimer's care units devoted to caring for those living with dementia and other types of memory loss. On many occasions, Five Star Senior Living communities of all sizes and scope have received a perfect or above-average score for compliance with federal and state regulatory standards. Besides this superior compliance record, Five Star management and direct care staff demonstrate their commitment to excellence by going above and beyond the recommended standards to set themselves apart in the industry.

Five Star's Bridge to Rediscovery Memory Care Program

When considering care for an individual who has Alzheimer's, dementia, or another form of memory impairment, the availability of specialized services, support, and programming is an essential aspect of the decision. Many Five Star communities do offer memory care housing and services, along with an innovative, award-winning program called Bridge to Rediscovery. Guided by six well-developed goals, the Bridge to Rediscovery program is designed to foster the rediscovery of joy in everyday life for residents with Alzheimer's, dementia, or another type of memory impairment. In addition to the program's tailored activities in the Montessori tradition, a distinctive dining program, environmental considerations (such as visual cues and contrasting colors to help residents better navigate their surroundings), comfortable furnishings, and a secured electronic door are the elements that create a supportive, creative, and safe atmosphere, offering caregivers who choose this level of care for a loved one the peace of mind they need.

Short-Term Stays, Respite, and Other Supplemental Care Services

Sometimes, caregivers need a break. Often, choosing a care transition (from home to assisted living, for example) is a process marked by uncertainty and hesitation, and a "try before you buy" option could help ease anxiety about a decision. For either of these situations, Five Star Senior Living has a solution: short-term stays and respite care. Many of Five Star's skilled nursing facilities, memory care, or assisted living communities offer this service, whether the need is for days or weeks. Those who opt for this arrangement receive the same access to the community's amenities, housing, and care as a resident would, without requiring a long-term contract. For more specific post-surgery/hospitalization needs, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation is available (Five Star employs over 900 physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology professionals). If caregivers need a break during the day but do not want to transition a loved one to full-time care, Five Star's adult day care services can meet that need. At the end of life, compassionate hospice care is provided as well, allowing residents to receive services where they are living, rather than transitioning during what is already a difficult time.

Staff Training and Oversight

Each of Five Star's 30,000 employees is actively involved in caring for residents, rather than isolating themselves in an office. Staff training emphasizes the importance of having "touch points" with residents throughout the day and embraces a person-centered care approach. As part of Five Star's commitment to superior quality, direct care and management staff are continuously evaluated for performance and strive to know each resident's unique situation to better meet individual needs. Weekly staff meetings, where a diverse group of employees are present, ensure good communication and excellent service delivery at each community. "Fall Prevention Is Everybody's Business... Not Just Clinical!" is an award-winning Five Star staff initiative that encourages all employees to work together toward preventing falls and demonstrates the team approach to care that Five Star embraces. Because Five Star offers such a vast spectrum of services, many of which fall into the category of skilled medical care, the company goes above and beyond to present ongoing educational opportunities to staff, maintains appropriate staff-to-resident ratios, and requires up-to-date certifications and training as mandated by state regulations -- and their own high standards.

Services and Amenities

At Five Star Senior Living, residents enjoy what the company describes as "easygoing, resort- style living, beautifully appointed residences, and a spirit of pure hospitality." Five Star residents are encouraged to furnish and decorate their apartments to their unique preferences so it truly feels like home. Independent and assisted living apartments are private at Five Star, and residents have the freedom to entertain guests in their apartment or a community common area at any time. Guests can also join residents for a meal in the community's dining venue (there is a charge for this service), or leave campus with visiting friends and family members for meals, family events, or other outings. Transportation is also furnished for residents, whether for doctors' appointments, errands, or other trips as determined by the community's activities calendar. Each community has their own unique activity program, with offerings directed by resident interest and feedback provided by the Resident Council.

Assistance at mealtimes, medication reminders, incontinence care, or help with daily tasks, personal care (bathing, dressing, grooming), and other activities of daily living (housekeeping and laundry services) can be provided to assisted living and Alzheimer's care residents. Sometimes, personal care services are available at Five Star's retirement living communities on an as-needed basis. The extent of healthcare and housing services provided varies by community, so if your loved one has a specific need -- or if you are concerned about a future need for care - check with the community first to determine if they offer what you need on-site. Most Five Star Senior Living communities allow pets in resident apartments for a fee. On the whole, communities are smoke-free (by choice/in compliance with state regulations) for the health and comfort of Five Star employees, residents, volunteers, and guests.

Five Star's Activities Program

Residents are encouraged to pursue an active retirement lifestyle at Five Star Senior Living communities. To that end, each of the company's locations has a dynamic social calendar and wellness programming that supports this philosophy. Activities are customized to each community with input from the Resident Council, a feature that most Five Star Senior Living communities offer as a means for residents to be involved in day-to-day decision-making, events planning, and other aspects of operations. Depending on the location of the Five Star community, there may be access to certain recreational and social opportunities not available in other regions, such as golf courses, downtown shopping and dining areas, historic sites, or waterfront activities. In addition, the company's exclusive Healthy Generation wellness program ensures that each community provides ample opportunities for residents in all housing types to socialize with others, participate in brain and body fitness group programs, enjoy in-house entertainment, attend off-campus outings, and more.

Dining Services at Five Star Senior Living

Much like their activities programs, the dining venues at Five Star Senior Living communities may vary based on location (or the type of housing), but the same high standards of quality service are uniform. Across the board, Five Star Senior Living communities serve residents a wide variety of fresh, nutritious meals in comfortable, yet elegant, dining areas. Seats are not assigned at Five Star communities so residents can socialize and enjoy meals with new friends or neighbors as they desire. Often, the Five Star dining services department will collaborate with activities staff to furnish meals and snacks suitable for certain special events, theme parties, or holidays. In 2009, Five Star's Signature Recipebook was published. The cookbook featured signature recipes - in keeping with Five Star's commitment to exceptional food service - from communities across the country.

Pricing Options

Perhaps one of the most attractive aspects of Five Star Senior Living's payment structure is the absence of a buy-in fee or significant upfront costs characteristic of some retirement living communities. Though each location charges a move-in/community fee, it is minimal, and all services and accommodations to follow are charged on a monthly basis, eliminating the need for a long-term purchase commitment. Should you need more care or services as time goes on, these additional services are charged on a fee-for-service basis. Five Star also offers a number of pricing models and flexible funding options that can be customized to each prospective resident's care needs and financial situation.

Veterans Benefits

Residents at Five Star Senior Living who were service members (or are/were married to one) can qualify for a pension through the Veterans Administration. These funds can be used toward paying for care at a Five Star community. To assist prospective residents who qualify for these benefits, Five Star partners with Elder Resource Benefits Consulting, a team of experts who are ready and able to guide service members and their families through what is often a complex application process, ensuring that they receive the maximum available assistance through the program.

GOLD S.T.A.R. Program and Resident Satisfaction Measures

To ensure the highest levels of satisfaction among their residents and families, Five Star instituted the GOLD S.T.A.R. (Satisfaction, Trust, Assurance, and Responsive) customer service program. Those who wish to make a suggestion for improved service can utilize a devoted toll- free phone number or a secured form on the company's website. Besides having the GOLD S.T.A.R. program in place, routine surveys and inspections occur in all departments at Five Star - and not only when the state is there for their annual review (though many Five Star communities have achieved perfect scores on these required state surveys). Resident input and feedback on various aspects of care is also gathered on a regular basis, and all staff is encouraged to work toward compliance through a "zero tolerance approach" to violations.

Awards and Accolades

Several of Five Star's programs are recipients of ALFA's prestigious Best of the Best awards: most recently, in 2012, the company's "Step Up to the Plate" program, which was designed to help night, weekend, and holiday staff be prepared to answer family questions when regular managers were not available. Five Star's Bridge to Rediscovery dining program, part of their Bridge to Rediscovery Alzheimer's care approach, won in 2010, along with the staff training initiatives, "Fall Prevention is Everybody's Business... Not Just Clinical!" and "Selling the Five Star Difference," which was created to improve customer service among all employees interacting with prospective family members. Five Star has also received accolades from the American Health Care Association (AHCA); the association's Quality Award Program, which recognizes achievements in healthcare in three categories (bronze - commitment to quality, silver - achievement in quality, and gold - excellence in quality). Over a dozen Five Star communities received awards spanning all three categories.

Professional Affiliations

Five Star Senior Living is a member of ALFA, the Assisted Living Federation of America. ALFA is the country's largest professional association representing assisted living providers.

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