When it comes to choosing a senior living community for someone you love, there’s no shortage of considerations. From the optimal level of care, and location to amenities and social life, the decision can feel overwhelming. One often overlooked factor is whether the community is for-profit or non-profit. While all communities must have revenue to operate, the two models may differ in pricing, quality of care and other factors worth considering.
More than 80 percent of senior living facilities are for-profit, with 40 percent being large national chains with hundreds of properties. While many for-profit senior living communities may provide high-quality offerings, by very definition their primary function is to earn a profit for owners and shareholders.
On the other hand, nonprofit senior living communities, such as Seven Acres, are run by non-profit organizations or charitable groups, many of which are faith-based. Others may be operated by the Veteran’s Administration or state. Non-profit facilities typically operate based on their mission statement, which states their purpose, values and direction. Admittance to a nonprofit senior residence doesn’t always require you be a member of the group that runs it, but aspects such as religious services and menu, may be aligned with the group’s.
Non-profit senior living communities must collect revenue to operate, but any profit is reinvested into the community’s long-term stability, training, medical equipment, and technology. Moreover, non-profit organizations are eligible to fundraise and apply for government and private grants, which helps offset costs so more funds can be used on infrastructure improvements and enriching programs.
Typically, non-profit assisted living residences are smaller than for-profit facilities and often offer higher staff-to-resident ratios. Further, many studies show that on average, non-profit senior living communities offer better quality of care and better outcomes for residents than for-profit facilities. For more information check studies here and here.
Keep in mind there are some exemplary for-profit communities as well as some poorly-run nonprofit ones. Therefore, it’s important to evaluate individual communities on their own merits. But, because evidence suggests that seniors have better outcomes in communities owned and operated by non-profits, you may find them a good place to start your search.
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