Brookdale Senior Living Review
Brookdale Senior Living is one of the largest retirement community providers in the United States. It currently houses more than 60,000 full-time residents and provides additional services to another 16,000 patients. While Brookdale Senior Living started small in 1978, it has since grown and spread throughout the country.
Today, thousands of families depend on Brookdale Senior Living to provide comprehensive, affordable services for seniors and retirees. Resident and family testimonials speak to the beautiful facilities, wide range of activities, and staff members that go above and beyond to care for residents. In this guide to Brookdale Senior Living, we’ll cover the types of care and programs offered, amenities, costs, locations, and more!
Pros About Brookdale
- Customized care for each resident
- Versatile services for seniors
- Varied price structures based on specific needs
- A long history of quality care and service
Cons About Brookdale
- Quality of services and facilities may vary by location
- High costs for more comprehensive services
- Currently not available in nine states
Types of Care
One of the greatest benefits of Brookdale Senior Living is its varied services. Brookdale Senior Living offers seven primary types of care: independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, continuing care retirement communities, home health care, and hospice care. You’ll find similar services offered at other companies, such as Benchmark Senior Living.
Below is a breakdown of each type of care.
- Independent living: Brookdale Senior Living provides independent living care so that seniors can live comfortably without needing to worry about cleaning, lawn care, or even cooking. This service is best for older adults who either cannot manage household maintenance on their own or would prefer to spend their time on other pursuits.
- Assisted living: With an assisted living community, retirees can enjoy their golden years in the comfort of a safe, structured environment. Living in the same facility as other seniors and staff encourages a stronger sense of community. Seniors can maintain social lives through organized activities while also having round-the-clock care right at their doorstep.
- Memory care: A Brookdale memory care facility provides seniors living with memory loss (like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia) with an apartment and surrounding facility to provide optimal care. Studies have shown that memory care facilities offer seniors with memory issues a much higher quality of life, as they offer specific care and safety measures to meet each patient’s specific needs.
- Skilled nursing: Brookdale Senior Living skilled nursing facilities provide more long-term care for patients who may be recovering from an injury or illness. It is essentially a facility between the hospital and home, offering seniors more time to recover under the care of medical professionals.
- Continuing care retirement communities: Brookdale’s continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) give seniors versatile care that can adapt to their changing needs. A person may start at independent living and later transition to memory care depending on their circumstances. A CCRC generally requires a larger upfront deposit to account for changes in services later on.
- Home health care: For seniors who still want to stay at home, Brookdale Senior Living offers home health care. Medical professionals visit patients at their homes on a regular basis to provide general mobility and hygiene assistance, administer medication, and give patient-centered medical care.
- Hospice care: When a patient is facing a life-threatening illness, Brookdale can transition them to a hospice care facility. This will ensure that every patient can spend their final days in comfort and peace.
Brookdale Signature Programs
Brookdale offers several signature programs, which fall under the umbrella of the “Optimum Life” mindset. This strategy focuses on providing seniors with the best-possible quality of life through an emphasis on emotional, physical, social, and spiritual engagement.
Pro Tip: When looking for senior housing, finding amenities and programs that help keep residents emotionally and socially fulfilled is important.
Here are some of Brookdale’s signature programs that reinforce the Optimum Life mentality:
- B-Fit: A physical health regimen that includes eight different exercise class options
- The Ageless Spirit: Focuses on helping seniors practice socialization and kindness in a structured environment to keep them feeling young
- My Life Story: Allows each resident to tell their personal story and offer their wisdom to friends and acquaintances at their Brookdale Senior Living community
- Brain Fit: Encourages seniors to improve their mental fitness with games, activities, and social workouts
- Resident Technology: Provides different electronics and software to ensure that residents can keep in touch with their loved ones, even from a distance
- Health Talks: Allows residents to have open discussions with nurses and therapists to learn more about their health and wellness
Brookdale’s amenities will vary by the type of care and the community. That said, Brookdale’s amenities focus on five different areas of importance: safety, convenience, recreation, social spots, and dining.
Pro Tip: Be sure to reach out to the Brookdale community in your area to confirm that they have the amenities you’re looking for.
More than anything else, people want to feel that their parents and grandparents are safe when they are away from the family home. For this reason, Brookdale focuses on several key safety features, such as 24/7 security, daily check-ins, and emergency alert systems. These features are designed to keep seniors safe and give everyone greater peace of mind.
Brookdale Senior Living communities have various offerings to make life just more comfortable and convenient for each resident. Some of these amenities are Wi-Fi access, transportation services, beauty salons, pet-friendly housing, health clinics, concierge services, and therapy rooms.
Just like anyone else, seniors need ways to stay busy and have fun on a daily basis. Recreational activities and services make it easier for residents to engage in fun, safe activities by themselves or with other community members. Many locations feature amenities such as a fitness room, library, theater, game room, walking path, and arts and crafts studio.
Socialization is particularly important for seniors. Feeling isolated can lead to loneliness or even depression, which is why Brookdale Senior Living encourages residents to engage with the social life of their surrounding community. Some of the popular social spots at Brookdale Senior Living centers are sports bars, chapels, and comfortable courtyards and gardens.
Food preparation is one of the most important services for older adults. Not only is a healthy diet important, but seniors also need to have access to diverse and delicious options. Communities may feature cafes, culinary chefs, and professional dieticians.
Brookdale Senior Living Cost
|Type of care||Monthly base cost||Additional monthly fees|
|Independent living||$870 – $7,545||$500 – $5,050|
|Assisted living||$800 – $7,725||$550 – $6,100|
|Memory care||$2,795 – $10,030||$385 – $6,100|
|Skilled nursing||$8,000 – $9,000||N/A|
|Continuing care retirement communities||$2,000 – $7,000||Entrance fees vary by location.|
|Home health care||$600 – $800||N/A|
|Hospice care||$2,500 – $5,000||N/A|
Brookdale senior living costs vary greatly based on the type of care and location you choose. Some resident and family reviews do state that the prices are fairly high, but that the facilities and amenities are worth the cost. It is also important to note that Medicare or Medicaid may cover a significant portion of the costs for skilled nursing care, home health care, or hospice care. Independent living, assisted living, memory care, and continuing care retirement communities are typically not covered by Medicare or Medicaid.
Pro Tip: Health insurance will likely pay for some of the costs of Brookdale Senior Living’s services and housing, but you should still expect to pay at least 50 percent of the basic costs out of pocket.
You may still be able to get help with the costs through private health insurance. Additionally, Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage will pay for certain services you get within an assisted living facility, like fitness or medical costs. Lastly, when compared to similar senior living communities, Brookdale Senior Living offers competitive prices, especially when you consider the breadth and quality of care.
Brookdale Senior Living Locations
Brookdale has communities and services in 41 states, making it one of the most widely available senior living providers in the country! For comparison, many other companies, such as Bickford Senior Living and Brightview Senior Living, only offer services in small regions of the country.
You can find Brookdale locations in the following states:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
Final Thoughts on Brookdale Senior Living
Brookdale Senior Living focuses on individual care, providing comprehensive services to older adults from a wide range of backgrounds. While not every state has access to a Brookdale senior community, the vast majority of states do. Additionally, high standards and comprehensive training for staff and medical personnel ensure that residents and patients can stay safe, healthy, and happy. As a bonus, Brookdale works with families and insurance providers to help pay for their senior living services.