October 12, 2022

10 Best Free Assisted Living Software for 2024

9 minute read
A graphic of tools to represent software for assisted living communities

The secret is out of the bag. There are free tools that assisted living communities can use to double – or, dare we say – triple their productivity.

After working with senior living providers, we’ve seen the difference that innovative technology can play in a community. The right tool can streamline workflows, simply communications, and improve productivity. 

There are so many options available that it can be challenging to know which ones are right for you. This is why we’ve put together our list of favorite tools that work perfectly for assisted living communities, long-term care homes, or nursing homes.

So, without further ado, here’s our list.

Slack's informal, channel-based system is great for facilitating communication between staff. Source: Slack.com

#1 Slack: Level Up Your Care Team's Communication

Email can be a painful and slow process. Information gets lost in mazes of email chains, it’s overly formal and often takes more brainpower than necessary. Which is exactly why Slack has become so popular, to the point of being acquired in one of the most significant acquisitions in tech deals in history.

Slack is significant to streamline communication between managers, team leads, admin teams, and owners. For example, you can quickly fire out comments, concerns, or questions to individual team members or to a channel (which, in other words, is a group of people)

Slack removes friction for quick conversations. For example, say you need to ask one of your community managers what the occupancy is that day. Rather than both yourself and them writing separate emails, you ping each other instantly.

You can create channels within the app, so everyone on your team is kept abreast of pertinent information. For example, you can create specific channels for each community, business functions like marketing or accounting, compliance, or particular projects. All communication is then kept organized within these specific channels instead of in various email chains.

You can also create workflow automation that will ping you when specific actions are taken, such as deal activities in your CRM or new form fills on your website. You can hook it up to just about anything.

A great alternative to Slack is Microsoft Teams, especially if you’re already on a Microsoft 365 plan, as it will come free. We’ve chosen Slack because it comes free, it’s the original, and it’s what we use. But both will work just fine!

Source: Screenshot taken within Google Sheets.

#2 Google Sheets: Start Tracking Data, Collaboratively

Many communities are likely using this tool. However, we have seen many who aren’t, so we believe it’s worth noting.

This is a digital version of Microsoft’s famous Excel spreadsheet program. With Google Sheets, your team can create documents, share them, and update them live. Meaning, when someone changes a figure, everyone can see it. 

We’ve seen this leveraged incredibly well when tracking bed status reports or senior move-ins. Managers update the number, so executives/directors are kept abreast without requiring a phone call to get these details. Again, saving time for both parties.

You can also feed the live data into graphs to automatically generate month-end or quarterly/yearly analysis reports. 

When used right, it’s one of the most powerful tools we’ve seen leveraged in an assisted living business, especially one with multiple communities under management. 

And, a bonus: it’s completely free.

Source: Notion.so

#3 Notion: Take Better Notes and Build an Internal Database

Notion has been one of the most powerful tools I've stumbled onto this year. The concept is that it's a group of interconnected notebooks that can link to each other. You can make it as simple or complex as you’d like. 

You can keep track of meeting notes, keep databases on each community, record projects, notes on competitors, or file away valuable resources. Relevant documents can then be connected.

Why is this so important? Because most ongoing senior living projects will involve multiple people who need to stay on the same page. Need the latest records for a home? Hop onto its folder and grab it without having to ask your manager. Or keep notes of important meetings so relevant parties (like owners or district managers) can review later.

How I would use Notion for a senior living business:

  • Each community would have its folder, with subfolders for business functions (i.e. marketing and accounting), teams, simple resident data, and relationships to keep track of.
  • I would create a section for meeting notes, including a to-do list of actionable objections, tagging each meeting participant along with their company (if they’re external).
  • A sub-folder would be made for each significant project undertaken, linking to meeting notes, a sub-doc for essential documents, and a road map for project milestones.

You can get started for free (it’s only $4/month to upgrade to paid). 

Source: Hootsuite.com

#4 Hootsuite: Streamline Your Social Media Planning and Posting

Managing social media accounts is tough. Not to mention when you have multiple accounts or profiles. Then add post scheduling to the mix, and it gets downright annoying. 

Hootesuite is great for social media planning. For example, you can schedule posts at different times and between various accounts. It also allows managers to review and edit posts (before they go out). And you can bulk post, meaning send the same post to multiple social media profiles, like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, without any extra work.

Hootsuite helps empower your team in their social media efforts, accomplishing more in less time while allowing for more planning. 

This becomes increasingly useful if you have multiple locations. It can seriously empower a social media manager or activity director to oversee various accounts. 

We love that it’s simple and easy to use; most folks can pick it up the first time they hop into the portal.

An alternative to this is Buffer which also starts free. 

Source: Huddleteams.io

#6 Huddle: Manage and Schedule Teams Better with Senior Living HR Software

We couldn’t help mention our software, which is free to start using.  

Huddle is great for communities looking to streamline the human resource side of their business. It combines scheduling, team management, certification tracking, and team communication into one software. 

It has a mobile app for teams, which helps them clock in and out, see their schedule, request time off, and see past shifts worked. 

And, it wraps it all together neatly into a dashboard that charts the result of all the data collected (like hours worked that month for a community). ‍

We built it to help simplify a complex task: managing teams. To create a platform that saves managers time and improves employee morale. 

Source: GoogleAnalytics.com

#7 Google Analytics: Uncover Your Retirement Home's Digital Presence

There are a few excellent software that you can use to track advertising and general digital marketing results. 

Most end up costing a pretty penny every month. However, Google Analytics stands head-and-shoulders above any other free platform (and many paid platforms). As a result, it’s become the standard in digital advertising.

The basic functionality shows you how many users are going to your website every month, what they’re doing on your site, and where they came from. 

Most folks are best served by the basics of what it offers. However, the more comfortable you get with the platform, the more you can learn, like what path they take on your website. You can even get into tiny details like what they’ve clicked on.

I'd recommend that every community have Google Analytics set up to track web traffic. Even if you don’t intend to use it for the next while, it’s good to start collecting the data, so it’s there when you’re ready.

Image source: Asana.com

#8 Asana: Manage Projects Better

­Asana is a cloud-based project and task management tool to help you keep track of what needs to get done (and when) with a sleek user interface that feels intuitive and is easy to learn. Your whole team can access it at any time and see the most up-to-date information.

The way I would use Asana would be to reserve it for special projects and events. Most team members know what they need to do daily, so it’s a bit of overkill to track/manage regular tasks. However, it shines when your team is against a new project with non-standard tasks. 

For example, say you have a new build under construction. I would plan out and list the following: advertising activities, press releases and media relations, open-houses and other related events, sales initiatives, and day-1 activities.

Once this is done, you’ll be able to generate timelines showing the succession of each event so the entire team is on the same page.

Their free plan offers more than enough functionality to get your team started. 

A close second is Basecamp. Their platform is the gold standard for project management. However, they don’t offer the same free plan level, as it’s a 30-day trial, with what appears to be less functionality.   

Image source: Hubspot.com

#9 Hubspot: Keep Track of Leads Better

Hubspot is a behemoth in the Sales CRM space. It’s the Pepsi to Salesforce’s Coke. Though, unlike salesforce, you can get started using it completely free.

It’s a fantastic tool for a manager, sales director, or community rep to keep track of lead information and follow-up times to ensure things don’t fall through the cracks. In addition, you can schedule calls, emails, and notifications to make sure you’re keeping up to date with potential residents. 

Like most items on this list, it’s easy to use. Most folks can hop into the portal and have their community set up in under an hour.

These are likely the highest-level products on the list, which shows when you look at their integrations list. Hubspot has native application integrations with most major digital tools.

This tool is free to start using, though it caps you out at a certain point. One way around this is to have individual accounts for each community. However, we would recommend considering their paid options, as you’ll be able to get all your sales data in one place. Just make sure you’ve found value through their free plan first!


Image source: Canva.com

#10 Canva: Design Better Visuals

As communities get more and more digital, through their own social media channels, website, and even email, they need to rely on visuals to get their message across. Often communities are either re-sharing other pages’ graphics or grabbing stock images online. 

The problem is that you don’t stand out, and they’re hard to customize your messages.

Enter Canva. They’ve made it easy to create customized images with text that stand out and give a professional feel without needing to spend a lot of time learning the ins and outs of graphic design.

The learning curve and time to value here is short; you or your team can get up and running in 15-20 minutes. In addition, your team will be able to quickly put together customized event posters and other promotional content with your branding.

This tool is entirely free to use, resulting in a considerable leap for retirement communities’ graphic design prowess. 


I'd like to list a few amazing tools that didn't make it to the main list, mainly because they have a bit steeper of a learning curve and require a bit more time and patience to set up. Though they are some of the more powerful tools I've come across.

Image source: Zapier.com

Bonus #1 Zapier: Connect Your Internet Tools

Zapier is a powerhouse of a tool. The idea for the product is this: connect anything on the web. This likely includes tools you’re already using, as well as just about everything on this list so far. Their interface is straightforward and walks you through everything you’ll need to know, and in the case that they don’t have an explanation for what you’re looking for, Google does. 

With a bit of time and planning, you can automate many routine tasks in your workflow, saving you time and energy.

I would use Zapier to streamline sales and marketing if I ran an assisted living community. Here’s how I would handle that:

First, I would set up automatic emails to send when someone completed a form on the website. This would include a friendly “Hi, thanks for reaching out,” along with a link to a brochure. So each new lead is getting prompt service for their request, which is essential because, according to McKnight, the odds of reaching a lead decrease 10x after the first hour.

Following this need for urgency, I would create a channel in Slack called “Sales” and connect my website to it (with Zapier). I would have new form completions automatically generated in this channel, along with their contact information. That way, sales team members could quickly contact new leads.

To ease the sales team’s workflow, I would also connect the website to Hubspot and have every new lead automatically created, along with a task to follow up in one day by phone and five days by email. 

Image source: Webflow Press kit

Bonus #2 Webflow: Build Better Websites

Webflow is the most accessible web development tool I’ve ever come across. It uses a user-friendly interface to design the site intuitively while building the code behind the scenes. 

There is a massive library of elegant website templates that are yours to use (for free!), which can quickly get you up and running.

One of the most significant benefits for retirement communities is its simplicity to edit and update. If you’re getting your website built by a freelancer or contractor and make it on Webflow, you can easily update it in the future without being reliant on a single person or company. In my opinion, this is the single most significant feature of the software. 

It has a free-forever feature, where you can build and launch your site into the world without ever having to input credit card details. Admittedly, the features are a tad bit limited for this type of usage, but you can get your project into the world, and more importantly, see if you like the platform.

I would recommend trying it out, launching a site, and if you enjoy it, consider a paid option (which only starts at $12 per month for a ton of functionality).


The web has democratized tools that would otherwise be solely in the hands of mega-companies. Top-tier software companies, like Hootsuite, offer their products for free to get you to use their paid plans. However, the value provided in their non-paid plans is often enough for most communities. 

We're impressed by the sheer number of high-level software products available online, which seems to grow every year. We’re optimistic that we’ll be able to double this list by this time next year. 

Which is great news for senior living communities.

Thanks for reading.

P.S. If you enjoyed this list, please do share it with a colleague or co-worker who could benefit from reading it.

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