In your search for a senior living community, either for yourself or a loved one, you may have noticed that some communities operate as nonprofits, while others are for-profit. You’ve probably also wondered what the difference is. While both communities need revenue to survive, the two differ in several key areas: mission, financial support, charitable activities, and resident involvement.
About For-Profit Senior Living Communities
The majority of senior living communities, more than 80%, are for-profit. Many are part of large national chains, but they can be privately owned, as well. Like any for-profit business, the primary function of these communities is to earn a profit for the owners, investors, and shareholders. Therefore, they must keep costs low and occupancy high to be successful. While they can still provide high-quality service and amenities, the cost is generally passed onto the residents.
About Nonprofit Senior Living Communities
These communities are mission-driven rather than financially motivated, and, as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, they must reinvest any earnings back into their core mission. Nonprofit senior living communities are also eligible for certain government and private grants and can accept tax-deductible gifts from donors to help offset costs. Faith-based or fraternal groups own many nonprofit senior living communities. However, Blakeford Senior Living in Nashville is not affiliated with any specific group or religion.
Benefits of Nonprofit Senior Living Communities
For many prospective residents and their families, the simple fact that nonprofit senior living communities are committed to a higher purpose than profit, namely to provide quality senior lifestyle solutions to aging adults, is enough. However, there are several other benefits to choosing a nonprofit.
Nonprofit senior living communities are committed to serving their residents to the best of their abilities, rather than providing a financial return to their investors or shareholders. This mission-driven attitude often extends to every area of operations, including hiring staff members who truly care about seniors.
In addition, all income is reinvested in the community and helps fund resident-centric projects, like the current expansion plans for Blakeford at Green Hills. The plans, including multiple new dining venues, a rooftop bar and event space, an indoor pool, an art studio, and a woodworking shop, are possible because Blakeford is reinvesting its operating profits back into the community. Something that a for-profit community isn’t prepared to do.
Funding & Financial Support
Because nonprofit senior living communities are tax-exempt and can accept donations, rents may be lower than for-profit communities in the same area. In addition, they may provide financial support to residents with extenuating circumstances. For example, residents in the Life Care program at Blakeford are eligible for financial support and lifetime care if their resources are exhausted through natural means.
As part of their mission, many nonprofit senior living communities engage in charitable activities to help their greater community, such as inviting non-resident seniors to attend in-house programs, allowing other nonprofit groups to use the facilities, engaging in fundraising events, and volunteering.
In addition to the “feel-good” aspect of living in a community that gives back, this attribute of nonprofit senior living provides residents with a number of volunteer opportunities. In fact, Blakeford’s residents and staff often volunteer in the Nashville area and participate in local community activities. Blakeford also partners with other nonprofits in the region, including Project SEARCH, and provides employment opportunities to its program graduates with varying degrees of mental disabilities.
One of the biggest advantages of nonprofit senior living communities is that seniors and their families often have more direct access to leadership than in a typical for-profit community. Residents have a voice in the decision-making, and their input is both encouraged and acted on.
At Blakeford, residents can speak with management at any time, and the leadership team meets with the resident council every month to discuss any concerns and address them. In a recent example, residents requested a pet salon be added to the community’s expansion plans. After considering the idea, management identified the space and had the architects change the plans to accommodate the pet salon, mid-construction.
About Our Nonprofit Senior Living in Nashville
Choosing a senior living community is a big decision, and nonprofit versus for-profit is just one of many factors to consider. However, if the above benefits are important to you and your loved one, it’s a good place to start.
At Blakeford, our mission is to provide quality senior lifestyle solutions and health services to senior adults that encourage independence, individuality, and privacy while creating both economic value and life enrichment opportunities for all those we serve.