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Designing Your Resident Satisfaction Survey Questions

Updated: Mar 28, 2022

Key topics to include in your resident satisfaction survey.

Each department in a retirement home has different needs to complete its job effectively, so why would resident satisfaction surveys be general?

When tailored to specific departments, resident satisfaction surveys allow senior living facilities to examine each department's specific needs and where further changes can be made for each job to be done efficiently.

A female nurse is smiling with a group of seniors who are having tea around the table

Why Use Targeted Questions?

It is important to have targeted questions rather than generally asking "do you enjoy living at our facility" to the residents and "do you enjoy working in our facility" to the staff members. Asking targeted questions allows the senior care home management to see exactly which part of their facilities is mostly enjoyed and what parts may need further examination for improvement. A targeted question such as "do you enjoy the food at our facility" rather than simply asking, "do you enjoy living at our facility?" allows the facility management team to see exactly where issues are coming from rather than making assumptions.

Good Questions to Ask

Based on a sample of approximately 25 retirement home surveys, examples of good questions to ask residents include the topics of; food quality, staff quality, medical care quality, facility maintenance quality, overall comfort level, level of independence, type of care being received, overall enjoyment of facility, and would the resident recommend the facility?

For residents, some question topics that were not common, but appeared important were; the availability of the staff and management, life enrichment after moving in, responsiveness to residents' needs.

For facility staff members, examples of good question topics include; overall job satisfaction, the number of hours worked, is fair compensation for their work being received, does the home provide good benefits, and what type of work does the employee do?

Below is an example of questions that senior living facilities can ask residents and staff members to assess the corresponding needs between the two parties.

  • For residents: Staff is consistently available to help with any issues I may have.

  • For staff: I have the knowledge and resources to respond to residents' needs.

In this example, it's clear that facility staff need to be equipped with knowledge and tools to respond to residents' needs. If they don't have what they need to do their job, this could be reflected in the residents' responses to the question, "Staff is consistently available to help with any issues I may have."

These questions could be improved by providing an option for commentary feedback if a negative answer is given. That way, the resident is not just saying they don't like the food or an employee does not like their benefits, but also what part of that aspect they don't like. For example, rather than just stating one isn't satisfied with the food, they would be able to say they don't like the selection or the quality.

Challenges with Surveys

One main issue with satisfaction surveys is they can take a long time to complete and sometimes feel redundant as some questions aren't relevant to the survey taker (staff members and residents). With Retainify's brief pulse surveys, the survey is shortened to a few relevant questions that do not seem cumbersome to complete and are pertinent to the staff member and resident's circumstances.

This methodology aims to make staff members and residents more willing to take surveys, allow for a larger data set to base decisions off, and allow any changes to be made in senior living care homes based on a more accurate data set.

When employees and residents take a satisfaction survey using a third-party service such as Retainify, they tend to give more honest answers. This is because a third-party service removes the tension of staff members and residents who might feel that answers going directly to management could lead to unintended consequences. This tension is removed with third-party services, which will give the employer more honest feedback, saving them time and money by actively and efficiently addressing any issues in their organization.

How Can We Help?

Retainify offers a unified solution that allows senior living facilities to customize and automate their employee and resident satisfaction surveys to measure what matters to them. Our cost-effective solution can be deployed in less than 24 hours with minimal effort, and customers can access feedback from their staff and residents in real-time.

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