Archive for the ‘SeniorHomes News’ Category

Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes from the Team

Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for all the things we enjoy in life, be it family, good health, prosperity, good friends, and all the little things to appreciate in our lives. Many families have traditional gatherings where they enjoy a feast prepared by family and friends, and certain dishes become traditions in their own right, evoking pleasant memories from childhood family celebrations.

We asked our team to share their favorite Thanksgiving recipes made by their parents or grandparents. Here’s a sampling of what delights team’s taste buds every Thanksgiving. Here’s what they had to say. Unless otherwise noted, all images are via, and be sure to check out the links for a top-rated recipe for each of these delicious dishes.

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce: It is just sugar, water, and fresh cranberries boiled in a pot. But, the warm tangy sweet taste reminds me of my mother at Thanksgiving.” Owen, SEM Manager

Stuffing (made by Grandma, of course)


“Grandma’s stuffing. Because I grew up vegetarian. it was always the favorite part of the meal for me. Savory and moist, it was laden with onions, butter, celery, mushrooms, a heavy dose of sage and a few eggs egg to bind her homemade dried bread together. I could take or leave the rest of the thanksgiving meal (except for the pumpkin and apple pies), but the pan(s) of stuffing were mine.”

Sue, Care Advisor/Production Assistant

Twice-Baked Potatoes

 Twice-Baked Potatoes

“Dad’s Twice Baked Potatoes: Baked potatoes scooped out of the skin, bacon, butter, cheese, chives and a mystery concoction of seasoning all mixed together, put back in the skins and cooked a 2nd time in the oven. A dish so incredibly loaded with fat and deliciousness is best enjoyed with loved ones, and has been an integral part of Thanksgiving tradition for me for as long as I can remember.”

Stuart, Project Manager

Oyster Stuffing

Oyster Stuffing

“My favorite Thanksgiving dish as a kid was Oyster stuffing. This is a twist on the typical Thanksgiving stuffing, by adding a load of oysters. Rich and yummy.”

Chris Rodde, CEO

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

“My favorite dish is sweet potatoes with marshmallows (aka Yams) – My mother is the best cook in the whole world. She uses sweet potatoes, cinnamon, brown sugar, vanilla, a ton of butter, a touch of lemon and of course marshmallows. I look forward to Thanksgiving every year so I can enjoy yams. It is sweet and delicious!”

Mamie, Care Advisor

“Sweet potatoes – baked and peeled, mixed with orange juice and brown sugar, whipped in a casserole dish topped with marshmallows (toasted) on the top! Yum!!!”

Robin, Senior Account Executive

Kolaches – Apricot Prune Filling Wrapped in Pastries


“I am going with My Grandmothers ‘Kolaches‘ an apricot prune filling wrapped in pastry….oohhhh so good!”

Darcy, Care Advisor (image provided by Darcy)

Bourbon Cranberry Compote

Cranberry Compote

Bourbon (or Brandy) Cranberry Compote. Cranberries, sugar, apple juice, with bourbon or brandy. All cooked down. Delicious.”

Madeline, Care Advisor (image via RealSimple)

Broccoli Cheese Casserole

Broccoli Cheese Casserole

Broccoli Cheese Casserole – frozen broccoli, velveeta cheese and white rice. Not only was it delicious on Thanksgiving day, but it was the best leftover as a dip with tortilla chips! My Mom always made an extra batch just for leftovers.”

Sarah Schnierer, Account Manager

Turkey Stuffing (another Grandma favorite)

Turkey Stuffing

“Grandma Rosie’s turkey dressing.”

Michaela, Bookkeeper

Garlic Smashed Potatoes

Garlic Smashed PotatoesGarlic Smashed Potatoes.”

Brett Davis, Care Advisor

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish? Share with us in the comments!

Our Hopes, Our Values: A Look Inside celebrated its five-year anniversary this year. What was once a two-person startup company that met in coffeehouses in Seattle and Kirkland now has 20-plus employees in office space spanning two floors in Seattle’s Eastlake neighborhood. With this milestone came the realization that it was time to revisit our company values to determine whether they still reflect how our company operates.

While other companies may have a top-down approach to setting values, at, it is an employee-driven approach. This approach is reflective of the attitude that is found in the startup world as opposed to well-established corporations or state agencies. The employees expect more from a company than just a paycheck; we expect a workplace where we truly want to spend every working day. Otherwise, what is the point of working here?Members of the Values Team

Every Monday morning for the past two months, our values team met for discussion. No management positions sat at the table, and each department had a representative. Working from a list of 100-plus value words that the entire company submitted, our task was to use the words as inspiration for our new value statements.

The brainstorming wasn’t difficult, grouping similar words together, but there were moments when our HR representative was forced to break the awkward silence because no one was sure of what to say next. And in keeping with the sense of laidback personalities around the table, no one felt the need to take charge or dominate the conversation. What the discussions revealed was agreement on the concepts but disagreement on the word choice.

Though the values are still pending final review by the team and management, what this process showed was the values adopted five years ago are still current. We are still dedicated to quality or embracing change, but we could benefit from refinement and additions. We still encourage balance between our work and personal life, but also, being a dog-friendly company is a value that everyone agreed should be called out!

When it came time to our core purpose statement, which is still in draft stage, an hour-and-a-half meeting came down to a 10-word statement of purpose. What these discussions showed was how to best summarize the dual-natured work we do: connecting seniors with a senior retirement community while improving the marketing of senior living providers.

Stay tuned as we unveil our new company values in a couple weeks. Honored as One of Washington’s Fastest-Growing Companies!

We are proud and honored to be listed as one of Washington State’s 100 fastest-growing private companies, as ranked by the Puget Sound Business Journal!, which is based in Seattle, ranks 69th on the PSBJ’s annual list. In all, the 100 companies combined to record more than $2.08 billion in revenue in 2013. In order to qualify for consideration, companies must have recorded at least $500,000 in revenue in 2011 and demonstrated revenue growth through 2013.

All companies must be privately held during the reporting period and be headquartered in Washington State. Additionally, they may not be subsidiaries of other companies. Revenue growth is calculated as a percentage between 2011 and 2013, and this figure is used to determine each company’s

This represents the third such recognition in a string of awards and honors received by us in recent months, which COO Jay Goldstein attributes to the company’s strong culture and commitment to success.

“The credit for this accomplishment goes to everyone in our company,” Goldstein says.  “None of this would be possible without the hard work, intelligent insights, and focus on customers (both consumers and providers) that each of our team members brings to every day.”

Earlier this year, we earned a spot in the prestigious Inc. 5000 for 2014, landing at number 678 among 5,000 innovative, successful enterprises. Additionally, we were recognized in the 23rd annual National Mature Media Awards Program by the Mature Market Resource Center, earning a Silver Award for the National Media Division in the Web Site Category.

“We’ve put the customer at the forefront from day one, and it’s allowed us to envision and execute innovative programs, like our Best Senior Living Awards program, the industry’s only quantitative-based evaluation system for senior living communities,” says CEO Chris Rodde. “We’re honored to receive a distinction so well-deserved by our dedicated team.”

Through our directory of more than 80,000 senior living communities, the innovative Best Senior Living Awards program, thousands of expert-written articles and free Care Advisor service, aids more than three million seniors and their families in their search for senior housing every year. We are proud of what we do each and every day here, proud of our growth and recognition, and invite you to find out what sets us apart! Joins in Raising Awareness, Funds for Alzheimer’s

The morning of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s Pacific Northwest started in typical Seattle fashion: Despite a weather forecast promising 80 degrees and sunshine, we were greeted with cloudy, gray skies. Fortunately, just when we thought it would remain cloudy, the sun made its promised appearance in time for the walk to start.

This is the fourth year that has participated in this annual cause, and we had a great turnout of The team at the Walk to End Alzheimer'semployees who came out on Saturday morning. Many of us there on Saturday also walked last year, and it seemed to us as though more walkers participated this year. The Alzheimer’s Assocation reported the final tally for this year’s walk to be 1,436 walkers.

There were many others within the senior living industry who came out in support of ending Alzheimer’s including Choice Advisory Services, ERA Living and Merrill Gardens at First Hill. Together, the 204 teams and 1,436 walkers raised $325,673.23.

This event wasn’t like the 5K walks which I usually participate in, where people participate with the intent of having fun; on this walk, people participated for the purpose of bringing awareness to this disease. That’s not to say there weren’t purple boas or a few costumes, but the walk for me was bittersweet, seeing flowers bearing names of people with Alzheimer’s or participants wearing shirts with pictures of deceased loved ones.

As someone whose family hasn’t experienced the tragic effects of Alzheimer’s, the walk made the disease real and reinforced the need for more funding to bring an end to it.

If you are interested in joining a walk, visit the Alzheimer’s Association website to find a walk near you. Even though the walk just ended, we at know we’ll be participating again once September 2015 rolls around!

Written by’s Andrea Watts.

Team Joins In the Ice Bucket Challenge in Support of the ALS Foundation

You can’t visit social media these days without seeing images of people everywhere dumping buckets of ice water over their heads. takes the Ice Bucket Challenge

Team takes the Ice Bucket Challenge!

What’s with all this ice-bucket madness? The Ice Bucket Challenge has gone viral and taken the Internet by storm in support of the ALS Association, with good-natured friends and supporters choosing to subject themselves to freezing-cold water and challenging their friends and loved ones to do the same by nominating them in their own ice water-dumping videos.

The idea is that you can donate to the ALS Association as a means to opt-out of the ice water stunt, but it turns out that there are thousands of people up for a good challenge who are also charitable: Many participants do both.

Ice Bucket Challenge raises millions for ALS Association

Not only is the Ice Bucket Challenge raising awareness of ALS, but it’s produced millions of dollars in donations for the ALS Association — as of August 21, 2014, the total topped $41.8 million, nearly a 25 percent increase from just 24 hours before ($31.5 million as of August 20, 2014).

Last year at this time, the Association had received about $1.9 million in donations, marking a substantial increase in funds that can be used to further research and search for a cure for this devastating disease.

What exactly is ALS?

The U.C. San Diego School of Medicine estimates that about 30,000 people in the U.S. are living with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) at any given time. You may be more familiar with “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” a moniker commonly used to refer to ALS, which is a “progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord,” according to the ALS Association. About 5,600 people are newly diagnosed with the disease each year.

ALS is a progressive disease, with many patients becoming paralyzed as motor neurons degenerate, resulting in the loss of the brain’s ability to control and coordinate muscle movement. ALS is a devastating, fatal disease, and there is currently no cure.  The average life expectancy for a person newly diagnosed with ALS is two to five years, although it is a variable disease. Life expectancy actually ranges from two to 20 years, sometimes even more:

  • More than half of those diagnosed with ALS will live for three years or more.
  • 20% of people diagnosed with ALS will live five years or longer.
  • Up to 10% will survive for more than 10 years.
  • 5% will live 20 years.

The ALS Association also points out that, “There are people in whom ALS has stopped progressing and a small number of people in whom the symptoms of ALS reversed.” While this provides a glimmer of hope, it’s not enough. That’s the driving force behind the Ice Bucket Challenge: More research can identify better treatments, increase the life expectancy of a larger proportion of ALS patients, and ultimately, produce a cure. joins the fight and takes the Challenge! CEO, Chris Rodde CEO, Chris Rodde

And that’s the reason why Team has joined the fight by participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge. Our COO, Jay Goldstein, was nominated by a friend and dumped a big bucket of ice-cold water over his head and, in turn, nominated our CEO, Chris Rodde. From there, it became a team effort — captured, of course, on video for your viewing pleasure.

But there’s one more video we think you should watch. It’s this one. Why? Because we could never convey the real purpose and the value behind all of this in the same way that this man has. It’s both hilarious and moving — so watch, learn, and share. Ranks In the Top 1,000 Companies in the Inc. 5000 is thrilled to announce that the company has been recognized in the prestigious Inc. 5000 fastest-growing companies list for 2014. To qualify for inclusion, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2010, and rankings are based on revenue growth from 2013 as compared to 2010 revenue. lands at No. 678, representing a growth of 670 percent in the three-year period between 2010 and 2013.

This is an exciting accomplishment, as the Inc. 5000 is a widely-respected and recognized ranking of privately-owned companies that has catapulted many brands to widespread success in the past. Brands that are now household names, such as Domino’s Pizza, Dell, Yelp and many others, were recognized in the Inc. 5000 while they were still startups with tons of potential.

There are a few factors contributing to this success. First, a growing elderly population and increasing numbers of family caregivers mean there are more people navigating the at-times-confusing landscape of senior housing and senior care. Companies like provide a valuable, free service to these families who aren’t sure where to turn for help or how to begin their search. Second, has worked hard to cultivate and maintain a positive, supportive company culture throughout phases of rapid growth and the inevitable challenges that statups face along the path to success.

“When people talk about the Inc. 5000, they talk about innovation,” says Chris Rodde, CEO of “At, we emphasize a company culture that motivates our already-exceptional team to reach higher and achieve more. We try to cultivate an environment in which our team feels empowered to develop and pursue ideas that drive our company forward – a difficult thing to achieve in the modern business world – and that’s where true innovation lies, in the power of the collective.”

Our exceptional team is comprised of: compassionate and talented Care Advisors working with seniors and caregivers every day; expert writers who provide valuable content to help seniors and their families understand the many complexities of senior housing, senior care and aging; developers who work tirelessly to build and maintain the comprehensive national database and community rating system; and the many supporting staff members who handle various important tasks day in and day out. We all work together in a supportive and collaborative environment to ensure that provides the best possible resources and services for the aging population.

All of this, of course, works in tandem to further the mission and realize the vision of our executive leadership team, who are responsible for cultivating a culture in which every employee feels valued and empowered to thrive. So far, it’s proven to be a winning combination, and we look forward to many more successes in the future as we continue to implement new ideas and find more innovative ways to provide valuable services to seniors and their loved ones.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the success of!

The 2014 Best Senior Living Awards is Open for Nominations

We’re excited to announce the launch of this year’s Best Senior Living Awards! Nominations are being accepted today through April 14th.

Phase 1 of the Best Senior Living Awards identifies the best websites, newsletters, blogs, organizations, and more. Phase 2 of the Best Senior Living Awards: Best Senior Living Communities will be launched in May 2014 and will identify the best senior living communities in key cities across the U.S.

This year, we’ve added a few exciting new categories to the Best Senior Living Awards – Phase 1, including:

  • Best Books for Aging and Caregiving– Includes books written for seniors and caregivers, which may be collections of inspirational stories, ground-breaking ways to think about aging, and humorous anecdotes to brighten your day. Tell us about your favorite books!
  • Biggest Senior Living Advocate – These are organizations that fight for senior citizens’ rights on Capitol Hill, advocate for increased funding for diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, and raise awareness about issues facing the growing aging population. What organizations are making the biggest impact in the lives of seniors? Tell us about them!
  • Best Large Cities for Senior Living – Which large cities boast tons of senior-friendly services like public transportation, access to prestigious hospitals and advanced medical care, and senior-friendly recreation? The Best Large Cities for Senior Living include those with populations of 200,000 or more and have at least 10 assisted living, independent living or memory care communities.
  • Best Small Cities for Senior Living – Not everyone enjoys the big-city atmosphere. Small cities are sometimes desirable for seniors who want to be away from the fast pace of city life and enjoy the beautiful scenery in the countryside. The Best Small Cities for Senior Living have a population of less than 200,000 and have at least 5 assisted living, independent living or memory care communities.

We’ve also brought back the most popular categories from the Best Senior Living Awards programs in past years. Here’s a look at the full list of categories included in this year’s Awards.

Vote for your favorite nominees for the best places, resources, websites, blogs and more in the categories 2014 Best Senior Living Awards

Vote for the most influential, inspiring and innovative people and organizations in the categories below.

Voting ends on April 28, 2014, and finalists will be selected based on popular vote as of that date. Finalists will be judged by a panel of leading senior living experts based on a carefully crafted set of standardized, category-specific rating criteria, and winners will be announced on May 19, 2014.

For full contest details and information about the ratings and judging process for each category, visit

Interested in serving on our panel of top-notch senior living experts? Email Angela at [email protected] for details!


Giving Thanks to Our Local Senior Living Experts

We’d like to take the opportunity to say a huge thank you to our local experts who generously offered their time and expertise to the 2013 Best Senior Living Awards. This group of experts are primarily individuals who work in the senior living industry in their local communities. They may be geriatric care managers, home health agency directors or staff, hospice agency representatives and other professionals who work in some aspect of senior living.

These experts have familiarity with many of the senior living communities in their area, and were able to provide us with a level of insight that’s simply not possible without first-hand experience with a community. We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce our readers to a few of these exceptional leaders.

Les Ostermeier – With more than a decade of experience in the senior living industry, Les Ostermeier served as a local expert in the Seattle area — a city he’s called home since 1989. After working with a retirement and assisted living community in the area, Les recognized the silent cry for help from seniors and their families. He started CHOICE Advisory as a referral agency to help seniors and families make sense of the complexities of senior living and narrow down the many options in the Puget Sound area to make the right choice for their loved ones.

Pati Rader, CSA – Pati Rader is a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) and Enrichment Consultant with five years experience working in marketing, community and life enrichment in the Sacramento area. Pati’s career in senior living was born out of her own experience with her own mother’s sudden decline, which opened her eyes to the need for programming and services for the senior population. Pati was able to combine her background and experience to provide valuable services to the senior living industry while supplementing her existing expertise with new educational opportunities and professional designations. She offers services through her company, PLR Enterprises.

Kelli Bradley – Her experience caring for her mother, who suffered from diabetes and many related complications, led Kelli to Senior Helpers. Senior Helpers is a leading in-home care agency serving the greatest need that Kelli found in her own experience — the at-home support that allows adult children to step back into the role of children and focus on their relationship with their aging or chronically ill parent instead of juggling the responsibilities and challenges of skilled nursing care, hospital stays, doctors’ appointments and other needs. Serving the Portland metropolitan area, Senior Helpers specializes in Alzheimer’s and dementia care and celebrates what their clients can do, not what has been lost or is now more challenging.

Jane Hamil, LCSW, CMC – Jane Hamil has been serving families in the greater Atlanta area for more than two decades. In addition to working with local families, she offers email and phone support to long-distance relatives with an aging loved one in Atlanta, providing a trusted local connection to help navigate the maze of aging and senior care from afar. Jane grew up in a family of caregivers — both of her parents served in leadership positions within the church. With the values of caregiving instilled in her throughout life, Jane’s academic work and her geriatric care management practice, Bridging Generations, came naturally.

Carol Howell – Owner of Senior Life Journeys, Carol Howell is a Certified Dementia Specialist and Endorsed Life Coach serving the greater Charlotte metropolitan area for more than 26 years. Carol works with dementia caregivers to help them develop effective strategies and cope with the many challenges of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia. A published author, her most recent book, Let’s Talk Dementia—A Caregiver’s Guide, is a #1 Amazon Bestseller. In addition to offering placement services, Carol provides  range of therapy services to those suffering with dementia, including Choral Music Therapy, Memory Music Therapy and Hospice Music Therapy.

These amazing senior living professionals are just a few of the many local senior living experts selflessly devoting their careers and unique talents to the aging and caregiving communities who devoted their expertise to the 2013 Best Senior Living Awards. We’ll be highlighting more of our local experts in the coming weeks, but in the meantime be sure to check out our Local Experts page for a look at the many talented senior living pros who generously offered their local insights for the 2013 Best Senior Living Awards. A huge thanks to all our local experts! Wishing each and every one of you, as well as our readers, clients and customers, a wonderful and fun-filled holiday with your family and friends.

Image via Flickr by bowenmurphy

Post by Angela Stringfellow

Announcing the Best Senior Living Awards Top-Rated Communities

We’re thrilled to announce the Winners and Top Rated Communities for the 2013 Best Senior Living Awards!

The Best Senior Living Awards program aims to identify the top senior living communities in major metro areas across the United States. With the goal of providing a central, objective resource for comparing senior living options in a local area, the Best Senior Living Awards program uses a combination of resident and family reviews, opinions and ratings from local senior living experts, and state inspection data to determine Winners and Top Rated Communities in each metro.

Our panel of esteemed experts in each metro area consists of senior living professionals who have thorough familiarity with many of the senior living communities in their respective geographic regions.  These experts have generously lent their experiences and expertise by providing an expert perspective on the senior living communities in their local areas. We’d like to extend a huge thank you to each and every expert who participated in this year’s Best Senior Living Awards!

It was a positive experience for our experts, as well. “The personal references and postings appearing on is an effective way for people to gain insight into the senior communities which excel in service.  I am pleased to have offered my support as an expert resource to,” says Les Ostermeier of CHOICE Advisory.

Many congratulations to this year’s Winners and Top Rated Communities!

Today we’re announcing winners and top-rated communities in the following metropolitan areas. Click through the city name to view a list of all the Top Rated Communities in that locality. Winners are listed directly below their respective metros.


Best Senior Living Community in Austin: Parkwood Meadows

Greater Saint Louis

Best Senior Living Community in Greater St. Louis: Aberdeen Heights

Greater San Antonio

Best Senior Living Community in Greater San Antonio: Blue Skies of Texas

San Jose

Best Senior Living Community in San Jose: The Atrium at San Jose

Greater San Diego

Best Senior Living Community in Greater San Diego: Belmont Village of Sabre Springs

Denver Metro

Best Senior Living Community in the Denver Metro: Atria Inn at Lakewood

Charlotte Metro

Best Senior Living Community in the Charlotte Metro: Brighton Gardens of Charlotte

Orange County

Best Senior Living Community in Orange County: Atria Woodbridge

Detroit Metro

Best Senior Living Community in the Detroit Metro: Pine Ridge Villas of Shelby Senior Living

Inland Empire (Riverside)

Best Senior Living Community in Riverside: Sunrise at Canyon West

Los Angeles County

Best Senior Living Community in Los Angeles County: Sunrise of Claremont

Las Vegas-Paradise

Best Senior Living Community in Las Vegas-Paradise: Willow Creek Assisted Living at San Martin

Atlanta Metro

Best Senior Living Community in the Atlanta Metro: Dunwoody Pines

Dallas Metro

Best Senior Living Community in the Dallas Metro: Meadowstone Place

Greater Sacramento

Best Senior Living Community in Greater Sacramento: Sunrise of Fair Oaks

Greater Houston

Best Senior Living Community in Greater Houston: Tarrytowne Estates

Be sure to congratulate our 2013 Winners and Top Rated Communities in the Best Senior Living Awards by tweeting them, liking them on Facebook or giving them a shoutout on Google+! Joins the Fight to End Alzheimer’s!

On Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 9:30 am, the team joined hundreds of others in the fight to end Alzheimer’s disease in this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Seattle. The day was overcast, but it didn’t put a damper on the fun!

This year’s walk was a two-mile loop around South Lake Union. With children and adults of all ages, and even a few furry friends joining the crowd, the support for continued Alzheimer’s research and treatments is truly amazing to witness.

Overall, more than $236,000 has been raised by the Pacific Northwest in support of Alzheimer’s disease. Among 178 teams, 1,277 walkers participated in Saturday’s event.

Participants were given flower pinwheels to signify their involvement with the cause. Those carrying orange flowers are showing support for the cause, while yellow signifies currently caring for or supporting a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease.

Purple flowers represent those who have lost a friend or loved one to Alzheimer’s disease. And blue flowers signify the brave individuals who are currently living with Alzheimer’s. Such a simple concept was incredibly powerful to see. is proud to contribute to advancing support, research and care for Alzheimer’s disease, currently the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Today, more than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, and that figure is expected to skyrocket within the next few decades. In 2012, there were 15.4 million Alzheimer’s caregivers in the U.S. — who contributed to more than $216 billion in unpaid care for their friends and loved ones. By the year 2050, the cost of caring for Alzheimer’s disease is expected to reach $1.2 trillion.

We hope that you’ve had — or have an upcoming — opportunity to contribute to this worthy cause in your local community. If you’ve participated in a local Walk to End Alzheimer’s, share your event photos with us on Facebook and help spread the word about the need for more funding for Alzheimer’s research.