For-Profit vs. Nonprofit Senior Living

Community Happenings  |  October 19, 2022

When searching for a potential home for you or a loved one, you may notice each has unique features that set it apart. One of the most critical aspects of senior living communities you might take note of is whether they operate as a for-profit or nonprofit organization.

While you might think of some similarities at first, there are critical differences between these types of communities. The differences can make a significant impact on your family member’s experience. Learning the distinctions between for-profit and nonprofit senior living communities, quality of care and the benefits of nonprofit residents can help you narrow the search and make the right choice for your loved one and family.

For-Profit vs. Nonprofit or Not-for-Profit Senior Living Communities

There are different types of senior living communities based on the level of care needed for the individual: 55+ active adult living, independent living, assisted living, memory care, short-term rehabilitation, skilled nursing, home care and adult day programs. After assessing the needs of an individual, communities may assist with daily living, life enrichment, supervision, and transportation, among other amenities.

While for-profit and nonprofit organizations charge a monthly fee, there are several differences between these two types of communities:

What Is For-Profit Senior Living?

For-profit living communities are private businesses and thus accountable to stakeholders or the large national chains to which they belong. While these organizations may provide high-quality services and amenities, they are designed to turn a profit from rent and fees. Approximately 77% of assisted living communities are for-profit, meaning they are part of a chain or privately owned.

What Is a Nonprofit Senior Living Community?

Nonprofit senior living communities, in contrast, are typically associated with a group, whether religious, professional or ethnic. Many nonprofit residences are mission-driven organizations. While these communities charge fees for residents to stay, nonprofit organizations reinvest these funds back into the costs of running the community. Essentially, every time you pay for a loved one to stay at a nonprofit living community, these payments go directly back to the community after expenses.

Quality of Care at Nonprofit and For-Profit Communities

When discussing the quality of care you’ll receive in these types of communities, it’s important to note that no one rule applies to them all. However, there are a few foundational differences in these communities that can impact care in specific ways.

Since for-profit organizations aim to turn a profit, it can be easy for them to prioritize their bottom line over resident care.

On the other hand, a smaller nonprofit residence has its advantages. They only seek funding to provide comfortable care for each person. As a result, each person’s fee is invested back into the community, and every resident can benefit from the financial stability of the nonprofit organization.

Benefits of Nonprofit Senior Living

Benefits of Nonprofit Senior Living

Beyond the tangible differences between nonprofit and for-profit communities, you may find comfort knowing your loved one’s community is mission-driven rather than driven by a shareholder or chain. At a nonprofit senior living community, your loved one’s well-being and quality of care come first.

More specific benefits of nonprofit senior living include:

1. A Driving Mission

While many people see that their fees stay within a nonprofit living community as reason enough to choose these residences, others see a benefit in the community’s mission or affiliation. For instance, a nonprofit driven by a religious organization can provide services based on that religion while accepting all faiths and beliefs.

The same goes for other nonprofits run by other groups. Older adults hoping to maintain their traditions may seek these organizations and services that aren’t always available in for-profit communities.

2. The Board of Trustees’ Role

A nonprofit is run by a board of trustees who take care of legal and ethical governance. The committee seeks compassionate members to fill their seats as people’s term limits expire. They hire and oversee the CEO while sharing resources and ensuring the organization will remain sound and beneficial for all residents.

This means listening to residents’ inputs and forming relationships with local businesses and organizations to keep the aging community connected to the wider community.

3. More Sources of Funding

Some nonprofit organizations may receive government grants since they work toward furthering a cause or public benefit. This status allows these organizations to receive donations from various sources. The flexibility enables nonprofit senior living communities to provide additional support to residents without proper resources. For example, long-time residents who cannot receive more funding may receive a cost reduction thanks to generous donations.

4. More Individual Care

Staffing is another important aspect of these types of communities to consider. You’ll want your loved one to receive high-quality care in their assisted living community. Since for-profit organizations will look for the best ways to turn a profit, having fewer healthcare professionals can mean fewer expenses. At a nonprofit living community, the amount you spend will go directly toward the salaries of those caring for your loved one.

A smaller organization may translate into a better staff-to-resident ratio, ensuring residents receive more individual attention and care from providers. More staff also means residents can create more profound, meaningful connections with staff and a greater sense of well-being.

5. Focus on Community

High-quality care goes beyond essential medical attention. It includes the mental and social benefits of a community. Ensure the assisted living community you choose for your loved one provides life enrichment that benefits their well-being. Social outings and compassionate care ensure your family member flourishes in their new community. The shared values between residents, staff and board members can help unify them and strengthen connections.

Find Nonprofit Care at Christian Living Communities

Find Nonprofit Care at Christian Living Communities

It’s essential to learn how nonprofit and for-profit living communities operate so your loved one receives the right care. As you now know, these senior living communities structurally differ, with nonprofit organizations providing a vast array of benefits.

Christian Living Communities is a nonprofit community that provides high-quality, compassionate care for older adults. We believe in the power of community and embracing each person’s unique contributions. Our communities offer an engaging and exciting lifestyle for all residents, where they can live with dignity and respect.

To learn more or find a senior community near you, contact us today.

Want to speak with a member of our team to see how CLC can help meet your needs?

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