The decision to live in a senior community is a monumental one. And once that decision is made, there is another, equally important decision. Which community to choose? How can you know which one is the right fit for you or your loved one?
A large part of that decision has to do with whether a community is for-profit (FP) or not-for-profit (NFP). This distinction matters significantly for several reasons.
Consider the designation.
- Not-for-profit. If profit isn’t the fundamental goal, what is? For NFPs, the aim is to serve and perpetuate a shared mission and to reinvest funds received back into community operations and residents’ well-being.
- The vast majority of Life Plan Communities are NFPs. These communities provide increasing levels of care, allowing residents to age in one place if their care needs change.
What happens when mission rules?
- Not-for-profit senior communities are often affiliated with a certain religious or fraternal organization working toward a higher benevolent purpose within a mission-based culture. Funding comes largely from financially and emotionally invested benefactors for whom quality care of residents is the top priority.
- Residents, not numbers, matter most. Not-for-profits need only as much funding as it takes to provide the residents they have with the best in personalized, attentive care. Therefore, increasing census to increase profit is not the guiding principle.
- Most not-for-profit senior communities are exempt from paying state property taxes, enabling this would-be cost to be used to benefit residents and operations.
How are residents affected by profit status?
- In addition to the assurance of individual, attentive care for each resident that non-profit status can afford in the absence of cutting corners, the needs and wants of residents and their families shape the vision of the supporting organization. Their voices are heard, and caring staff and supporters ensure that daily life revolves around the mission to enable physical, emotional and social well-being for each and every resident.
Who besides residents and their families benefit from NFP status?
- The surrounding community at large is often the beneficiary of NFP senior communities in that many of them serve as locations for, and supporters of, community events and charitable causes. These endeavors are often part of the NFP vision to create a broader imprint on more than monetary return on investment.
Is there any research to support the benefits of NFP senior living?
Research from the Government Accountability Office shows that:
- Healthcare centers of NFPs have fewer government-cited deficiencies
- NFPs have more or higher quality staffing
- Healthcare centers of NFPs have lower hospitalization rates
Is Eastcastle Place a good option for me or my loved one?
Formerly known as the Milwaukee Protestant Home for the Aged, Eastcastle Place was founded in 1884 by a group of big-hearted, “Big Picture” women who wanted to provide a safe, caring environment for older people of lesser means. Today, the senior community on the iconic East Side of Milwaukee is an historic, yet fully modernized, example of the very finest in living for older adults.
It is also still a haven of hope and humanitarianism, as it has been for the past 138 years. The vision its founding mothers had to serve others all those years ago lives on today in every detail.
In celebration of our 135th anniversary, Eastcastle Place hosted a fundraising gala on September 14th complete with food, beverage and entertainment from John McGivern and John Gurda, who are popular area talent.
Events like this are the lifeblood of our NFP community, as we depend on the support and generosity of those who are dedicated to perpetuating a model of senior living that puts people – not profit – first.