The ALFA Best of the Best awards recognize innovative new programs
and services that are creating the future of senior living. In 2015, Awards and recognition will focus on programs and initiatives advancing excellence in senior living by addressing topics in Human Resources, Sales and Marketing, Clinical, Health and Wellness, Information Technology, Green Living and Property Management, and Resident and Family Engagement.
The Best of the Best awards will be given to nominees receiving the highest scores from an expert panel. ALFA also recognizes unique
programs as Programs to Spotlight.
The open period for nominations is October 1, 2014 - December 31, 2014. Read about the 2014 winners for inspiration.
Learn more about the Best of the Best Categories
- Best Practices in Documentation
Accurate documentation is key to successful operations. How are you taking your current method of documenting outcomes to the next level?
- Fall Prevention, Detection and Response
Ensuring patient safety is a top priority for senior living communities. What procedures and processes have your company implemented to minimize falls while maximizing resident safety and independence?
- Managing and Preparing for Rising Acuity Levels
Seniors moving into senior living communities or currently residing there have greater care needs than ever. How is your company or community preparing to serve more residents in need of more services? What specific program or strategy does your company engage in to embrace residents with higher acuity?
- Partnering with Health Care Providers
While senior living communities cannot officially join accountable care organizations, health providers are recognizing the important role senior living communities and their third party partners can play in reducing the chance of readmission by residents to the hospital. What is your company doing to serve as a “partner of choice” for health care systems?
Health and Wellness
- Dining Choices
The dining menu has become a major attraction for residents. What unique dining options do you offer to attract new residents and keep long-time residents satisfied while accounting for special dietary needs?
- Nutrition Programs
How are you crafting a robust and enticing community menu to keep residents healthy? Do you offer programs allowing residents to track their biometric progress?
- Fitness Programs
Fitness is a motivator of the mind and body. What unique exercise programs do you offer to encourage residents to get in shape and stay in shape - and have fun doing it.
- Hiring / Compensation Best Practices
The correct hire can have a tremendous impact on an organization’s future. How do you attract top talent to your company?
- Retaining Community Staff
The relationships between staff and residents are critical in efforts to deliver high quality care and service. What program or initiative have you implemented that assists caregivers and makes them feel your company is an employer of choice?
- Creating Great Leaders
Nurturing leadership in an organization ensures the cultivation of future, high-quality executives within your company. What specific leadership development program do you have in place to grow talent and produce future leaders from current staff?
- Training and Developing the Future Workforce
What steps have you taken to develop future employees in the senior living field? Have you partnered with universities to develop training programs or educational coursework?
- Data Security and Management
Maintaining and protecting data are crucial in today’s environment. What best practices does your company have in place to keep data secure? Do you offer an innovative product for data security?
- Improvements to Tech Infrastructure
Technology can help staff improve service and provide better care to residents. What innovative strategies have you undertaken to improve your overall infrastructure? More and more seniors are adopting new technology, how are you strengthening your network to keep up with tech-savvy residents?
- Integration of Mobile Devices for Clinical Staff
Many senior living providers are beginning to explore mobile technology as a tool for staff to provide better service and care to residents. Has your company taken the plunge into mobile technology for staff members who care for residents?
Green Living and Property Management
- Greening Your Community
How is your company pursuing a green strategy while enjoying the benefits of lower operating costs? What practices do you employ to reduce your communities’ carbon footprint and reduce energy consumption? (One submission in this category will also be honored with the ALFA 2014 Energy Management Award for the most effective usage of green strategies to reduce energy costs.)
- Resident & Staff Safety
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has recently increased efforts to protect workers from serious safety and health hazards. What processes and procedures do you have in place that exemplify your commitment to a safe and healthy community? What new initiative or program has your company or community developed to reduce accidents and injuries among residents and staff and ingrain these safety measures into your culture?
Resident and Family Engagement
- Connecting Residents Through Technology
Many residents live far from friends and relatives. How do you help them connect with their loved ones? How do you enrich your residents’ lives utilizing computers and/or mobile technology?
- Meaningful Programs Creating Purposeful Days
Interesting activities and programs are important, but what is your company doing to create meaningful and purposeful programs for residents to engage with each other as well as engage in their own hobbies, interests and passions?
- New Resident Engagement Programs
What program or initiative does your company or community offer to new residents and their families to make them feel at home within the first 90 days of residency?
- Supporting Families During Transitional Times
Making the decision to move a loved one into senior living can generate much discussion for adult children. How are communities supporting families during the first few months of the move so the adult children enjoy peace of mind and quality time with their loved one? What does your community do to make families feel welcome as part of the community and reaffirm to families that they made a good decision in choosing your senior living community?
Sales and Marketing
- Community Outreach
Senior living communities are valuable members of the local community. What programs do you have in place that enhance your reputation at the community level? For example, do you partner with local schools or places of worship to increase local community engagement?
- Lead Development and Management
What initiatives is your organization undertaking to develop leads? How does your organization forge bonds between prospective residents and their families? How do you ensure the prospective resident has a positive experience when considering making your community their home?
- Public Relations
Your company’s public perception is often its reality. How do you encourage and maintain a positive image for your organization? What PR initiatives have you undertaken to showcase the difference you make in the lives of your residents?
Questions & Considerations
Q1. Which Best of the Best Topic category do you wish to list this nomination under? Pick one.
Q2. What is the name of your program, product or service?
Q3. Specifically describe how your submission addresses the topic you selected?
Q4. Describe the features and benefits of your program?
Q5. What differentiates this program, product or service from what others
may be doing. Why should someone consider it as “new” or “different”?
Q6. How are you measuring the impact of your program on your organization or your customers? What results are you seeing to date?
Q7. How do you hope to expand, grow or evolve this program, product or service in the future?
Nominations are due by December 31, 2014. All companies submitting award nominations must be remit entry fees to ALFA and be ALFA members in order to move on to being assessed. Companies may mail checks and supplemental information to ALFA if necessary (ALFA; 1650 King Street; 6th Floor; Alexandria, VA 22314). Every submission will be judged and ranked against the following criteria:
- The uniqueness of the program, product or service
- Making something ordinary, extraordinary
- The difference it is making for seniors, families, staff, operations, processes, revenue generation and/or expense reduction/efficiencies.
- The quantitative results and qualitative feedback
- The strategic vision for the program, product or service
- Communicating all of this information as informatively and precisely as possible
The nominators for winning submission are notified in March each year. Programs to Spotlight are notified by April. Winning companies will receive the following recognition:
- A submission profile in the conference issue of Senior Living Executive Magazine and one of ALFA’s weekly ALFA Update e-newsletters.
- Receive a template press release to customize and announce the recognition
- Receive visual recognition at the annual conference
- An awards presentation with senior living and ALFA leadership and photo op
- An award and photo
Marketing & Communications Coordinator