An Introduction to Merrill Gardens
Logo for Merrill Gardens

1938 Fairview Avenue East, Suite 300 Seattle, WA 98102
Founders: Privately held, family-owned, and merged with Health REIT in 2010 Established: 1993
(866) 531-0695

About Merrill Gardens LLC

Founded in 1993, Merrill Gardens is a privately-held, family-owned organization operating in nine states with 56 senior living communities. Offering independent living, assisted living, respite care, and memory care levels of living settings, Merrill Gardens is ranked the 11th largest senior living provider in the United States and the sixth largest independent living provider in total resident capacity, accommodating 9,500 residents. Facilities are located in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Montana, Nevada, Texas, and Washington.

A subsidiary of the R.D. Merrill Company, a timber holdings company formed in the 1890s, Merrill Gardens resulted from R.D. Merrill's purchase of a retirement community in Seattle, Washington. Merrill Garden's chairman, Charlie Wright, is the fourth generation of the Merrill family to be in the business. This family connection and value system comes through in Merrill Garden's strong emphasis on community, family, and dedication to providing a quality life experience for senior residents.

Communities and Philosophy

Merrill Garden's individualized approach to all facets of resident care is characterized by creating a different physical structure for each community to best fit the surroundings. This allows for an appropriate adaption to the setting and location, recognizing the specific needs of that community's residents. Maintaining these varied and quality lifestyle options and the independence that is so important to residents provides a full array of quality experiences and amenities. Merrill communities place the residents as their top priority ... "that's why we go above and beyond in all we do - to keep you or your loved ones living the best life possible."

Communities in the nine states vary from suburban settings to locations near metropolitan areas like Atlanta, Georgia. This affords residents a choice of a more urban or pastoral country lifestyle, depending on their preference. Most states listed offer two to three communities. Washington State leads in the number of sites at 24 (making Merrill Gardens the largest provider of senior living in the state), followed by California with 22 communities.

Senior Living Options and Services

The levels of care offered by Merrill Gardens include independent living, assisted living, Alzheimer's, or dementia care and a respite care program for short-term care. Most communities have apartment-style living and Merrill Garden's communities primarily fall into the senior housing category of "active adult communities," which emphasizes providing residents an active, invigorating lifestyle with golf, biking, and hiking trails.

Should residents' health care requirements evolve, Merrill Gardens offers the full array of services that each resident requires based on their current status, such as medication management or assistance with daily living needs, such as bathing and meals. Fee structures and care programs are set to match the resident's needs and the corresponding care provided by the staff. With such dedication to individualized care and thorough needs assessments, residents and family members can be assured they are receiving the best quality, state-of-the-art care. Settling in as a new resident can be made with peace of mind with Merrill Garden's "60-Day Satisfaction Guarantee." If for any reason, a resident is unhappy, he or she can choose to move within the first 60 days.

Merrill Gardens Memory Care

Merrill Gardens was ranked by the Assisted Living Foundation of America (ALFA) as the number one provider of memory care in 2013 by resident capacity. Assisting residents with Alzheimer's, dementia, or other forms of memory impairment is a strong focus at Merrill Gardens. The dementia care component is called the Garden House. Garden House's foundation of treatment is to discover and spotlight significant activities that have meaning for the individual resident. The programming at Garden House is "Personal Pathways." After a life and medical history assessment is completed by the highly-trained specialty staff when the resident moves in, activities that will be relevant, stimulating, and enjoyable are recommended to the resident.

The love and supportive connection of family are encouraged as part of the Garden House quality care. Merrill Garden's communities Memory Care programs provide the essential support groups for family members and are they are also invited to participate in planning meetings to help them understand various facets of dementia. Social activities are an integral part of the guiding Garden House philosophy with community outings offering residents access to outside stimuli and socialization.

Short-Term and Respite Stays

If your loved one is in need of care for a short time following a hospital stay or recovering from illness or injury, Merrill Garden communities offer a Respite Care program. As with the other care levels provided, the respite program is individualized for each resident's requirements. Care may include bathing, medication management, on-site helpers, or other special needs. In addition to the individualized care, a daily rate fee structure is all-inclusive with a furnished suite, three nutritious meals a day, 24-hour staff access, scheduled transportation to appointments, and weekly housekeeping and linen service.

Trained Staff and Oversight

Providing the highest level of professional standards in resident care requires is an ongoing priority and number one goal at Merrill Gardens. While the staffing at each Merrill Gardens community may vary, the company is committed to having highly-trained, experienced staff available to residents. A licensed nursing staff is on call with 24-hour availability at all locations with assisted living and respite care programs. For further peace of mind, all Merrill Gardens communities are in close proximity to medical facilities and hospitals. All aspects of resident care have complete oversight by the management services that operate the communities.


Keeping with the Merrill Gardens theme of offering personalized service and amenities, the physical layout of the apartments is available in several floor plan options. Common use areas include a library and open areas to accommodate socializing and even a private dining room that can be reserved for special occasions. Residents needn't worry about any problems that arise in their living space -- on-site maintenance is there to respond immediately. A unique feature in senior living dining, Merrill Gardens believes residents should enjoy flexible mealtimes and offers the "Anytime Dining" program. Residents can choose their mealtimes and enjoy restaurant-style meals when they like.

Transportation may be scheduled to doctor visits or other outings. Additional amenities include an on-site hair salon and barbershop, outdoor walking paths and beautifully landscaped gardens, cable services in every apartment, and convenient laundry services. Resident safety is a top priority and includes a residential call system in every apartment unit. For pet lovers, Merrill Gardens understands that important, life-enhancing connection and welcomes small pets.

Special Pricing Programs

Merrill Gardens recognizes the alumni of many universities located in the cities where their communities are located. The Alumni Preferred Partners Program gives a $500 discount on the community fee for current alumni association members. This savings can also be enjoyed by spouses, parents and grandchildren of alumni members.

Awards and Accolades

Merrill Gardens has been recognized nationally for its high levels of service and integrity in the senior housing industry. Recognized by one of the industry's leading organizations, the Assisted Living Foundation of America (ALFA), Merrill Gardens was voted "Best of the Best" for 2012 in the category of Human Resources and Staff Development.

In keeping with the family-owned company principles, Merrill Gardens has received the "Family Business of the Year" by the Family Business Institute three times in the last ten years. Merrill Gardens was also a 2004 winner of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Oregon and Western Washington State's "Best Business of the Year" award. Referring to Merrill Garden's winning attributes, the BBB's CEO Robert Andrew cited, "their dedication to customers, employees and the community they serve is admired."

Merrill Gardens Innovations

In the fall of 2012, Merrill Gardens began construction on an exciting new concept in senior living housing. Adding a retail component and other amenities to California's Merrill Gardens at Campbell site makes the company an industry innovator. The facility will combine 17,936 square feet of retail space with 126 residential units and 20 memory care specialty units for seniors needed that level of care. A more urban approach than what is usually a suburban norm for senior housing, this facility will have a very "downtown" feel. Completion is expected in spring of 2013.

Mergers and Acquisitions

In 2010, Merrill Gardens LLC formed an $817 million partnership with Health Care REIT, Inc., a Toledo, Ohio-based concern. Health Care REIT now owns 80 percent and Merrill Gardens, 20 percent of the company. Citing a "strong relationship and vision for innovative senior housing and care," this union promises to be a foundation for success and expansion in category of industry leader. Even though this advantageous merger means continued growth, the Merrill family continues to own and operate Merrill Gardens. At the time the partnership formed, Health Care HEIT owned 625 properties that included senior communities and medical buildings and was valued at $6.9 billion.

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