There’s no shortage of considerations when determining what level of care you or your loved one needs. Understanding the non-profit vs. for-profit differences of personal care facilities can be helpful when determining which care facility best matches your situation.
Quality of Care
More than 80 percent of senior residential care facilities are private and for-profit. Because of this business structure, these businesses often have requirements for return on investment that emphasize keeping costs low. Staffing, dining, activities and other residential amenities can suffer from this as a result.
“In general, the average for-profit facility has been found to have poorer quality of care relative to the average not-for-profit facility,” says David G. Stevenson, an associate professor of health policy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. “That’s been shown in previous studies over many years really looking at a variety of indicators, whether it’s that they tend to have lower staffing, whether they tend to have worse quality scores, worse inspection ratings – things like that.”
There is, of course, a variation in the quality of care provided by a facility regardless of its designation. Some for-profit facilities deliver excellent care, while some non-profits can fall short on expectations. To get a better feel for the level of care you can expect from a facility, have a conversation with the administrator, who oversees the clinical and administrative aspects of the facility. During your talk, ask questions that can give you some insight into the culture of the community. Ask them how long they’ve been with the facility, what their favorite part of their job is, and what kind of life-enhancing activities residents are provided.
While both for-profit and nonprofit care facilities charge residents a monthly occupancy fee, the revenue gained by a nonprofit is fed back into its facilities and other pursuits related to its mission. For example, WRC Senior Services directs its revenue towards its charitable care mission, which provides over $2 million in free care each year to residents who have outlived their resources and can no longer afford the care they need.
Some nonprofit senior care facilities are tied to certain religions or other cultural groups. This can be appealing to those looking for an environment of like-minded individuals that embrace the same beliefs. These facilities often offer religious services within the communities for its residents.
Typically, nonprofit senior care facilities are home to fewer residents. This can be an attractive quality in that it often means a more personal feel and a better staff-resident ratio.
About WRC Senior Services
WRC Senior Services is a nonprofit senior care provider that serves seven counties in Western and Central Pennsylvania. For 129 years, WRC has served the aging Pennsylvania population with personal care, independent living, skilled nursing, home health, home care services and more. As a nonprofit, WRC’s lines of service are resident-focused, with the goal to enrich lives and promote health and wellness to the elders we serve.