Now in itÛªs third year, the Caring Stars Award recognizes senior living excellence from consumer ratings and reviews on Caring.com. Recognized by the 2013 National Mature Media Awards, this program honors more than 400 senior living communities in 38 states ÛÓ the top 1% of assisted living and memory care communities nationwide ÛÓ as Caring Stars of 2014. See the complete list of winners. And hereÛªs a state-by-state list of this yearÛªs winners. ÛÏCongratulations to the Caring Stars communities for earning high praise from residents, families, and senior care experts on Caring.com thus achieving this award of service excellence,Û said Andy Cohen, cofounder and CEO of Caring.com. ÛÏIn the senior living industry, online word of mouth has grown in importance. Families tell us that reviews are among the top considerations when they choose an assisted living or memory care community for a loved one, and we see communities with reviews getting significantly more online inquiries than those with no reviews.Û In recent research conducted by Caring.com, 60% of family caregivers indicated that they used the Internet in researching senior care service providers, and two-thirds of family caregivers took to the Web after noticing signs of memory loss in a loved one. A combined 94% of family caregivers find online reviews to be trustworthy and helpful in their search for senior care providers. To qualify, communities must have three or more reviews during the time frame, at least one of which with the highest rating of five stars; an average overall rating (across all reviews on their listing) equaling greater than 4 stars; no unresolved negative reviews. Caring.com currently hosts about 50,000 senior care reviews, with about half for assisted living and AlzheimerÛªs care communities. Each reviewer must have firsthand experience with the communityÛªs eldercare services, and all reviews are read by a Caring.com employee and considered against the Review Guidelines before being displayed on the site. According to Caring.com. listings with reviews receive an average of 14X more leads than those without reviews. ThatÛªs nearly triple the rate of the year prior. ItÛªs not only family caregivers and seniors who are using the reviews. Family advisors at Caring.com are also reading reviews and using the information therein to guide the referrals they make in matching families to the best possible communities for their loved ones. Check these reviews when doing your homework about selecting senior living options for a loved one.