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Is Your Assisted Living Community Structured?

When it comes to selecting an assisted living community, you have to weigh a number of decisions. Do you prefer a national chain’s resources or a local community’s control? Do you need Medicare or Medicaid certification? And, one that many people overlook, are you better off with a for-profit or a not for profit organization?

The for-profit or nonprofit decision is one of the more important ones for consideration, as much can be discerned about the quality of care between the two options. At its core, the difference between non-profit and for-profit care stems from what drives the business. For-profit communities are driven primarily by financial considerations, whereas nonprofit communities typically have some aspect of community service as part of their reason for being.

Both for-profit and nonprofit organizations must abide by certain regulations or other federal, state or local oversight. This means, you will find qualified staff and a basic level of care at all organizations. So why might care vary between for-profit and nonprofit organizations? While the answer is subjective, three considerations influence care:

  • Structure: The number of—and the organization of—resources used to provide care, including the staff.

  • Process: The actions used to provide care, such as equipment or medical procedures.

  • Outcomes: The results for residents—do they feel sufficiently taken care of and satisfied?

Being mission-driven means nonprofits have a higher purpose: to fulfil their mission and serve their residents. Because nonprofit organizations have community service as part of their reason for being, they are not tied to budgets and restrictions set by shareholders or owners, who may be profit-driven. In for-profit organizations, for instance, non-government-regulated areas such as dining and activities are the first to be cut to save money.

Another overlooked consideration is that with nonprofit communities, the residents’ needs and wishes figure prominently into the vision and the ways in which it is carried out on a daily basis. Whereas for-profit communities have duties to shareholders as well as their residents, nonprofit communities can put residents first. Finally, nonprofits are able to reinvest their income to benefit the residents, the organization and the community at large.

 At Bethesda Senior Living Communities, we pride ourselves on putting residents ahead of shareholders. As a faith-based, not-for-profit organization, we answer to our communities. Our mission is to serve seniors by enriching their physical, emotional and spiritual health in our intimate community. Therefore, we are bound to providing the highest quality care, creating the best lifestyle possible, and selflessly serving our residents first and foremost.