If you’ve made the wise decision to spend your golden years in a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) or Life Plan community, you’ll find that of these, there are two types of retirement communities: for-profit and not-for-profit or nonprofit organizations.
For-profits currently make up about 80% of senior residential care communities in the US. It’s essential to do your research on any CCRC—and your financial assets—before making a senior living decision. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of for-profit and nonprofit Life Plan communities.
Operate for profit and are accountable to stakeholders first. Many for-profit CCRCs are owned by a parent company whose primary objective is to make a profit. They are obligated to meet shareholder or investor requirements for returns on their investments. This means they must ultimately prioritize revenue over the needs of their residents.
Require a financial qualification process. All senior living communities require applicants to prove they have the funding to join. However, with for-profit CCRCs, this requirement is more aligned with protection against their own potential financial loss than with ensuring that they will be able to care for seniors.
May evict residents for inability to pay. If residents at a for-profit CCRC run out of funding, they can be evicted. Some for-profits offer forms of subsidy for such cases, but they are not required to, and it is not part of their mission.
May use aggressive cost-cutting measures. Because making a profit is their main priority, commercial retirement communities often cut costs wherever possible to maximize their bottom line. As a result, they often have low staff-to-resident ratios, meaning individual residents get less attention and care. For-profit CCRCs also consistently rank lower for overall quality of care.
Operate for charitable purposes. For tax purposes, each nonprofit and charitable entity is structured as a 501(c)(3) organization, which means it is required by law to reinvest any profits back into its mission. The purpose of a nonprofit or not-for-profit CCRC is to provide seniors with housing and health care services, even if residents run out of money to support themselves. These communities prioritize their mission over their revenue; they care about serving seniors’ needs first and foremost.
Require a financial qualification process. To ensure their ability to care for residents, nonprofit CCRCs require applicants to demonstrate that they have adequate funding. This is why it’s crucial to save for retirement and keep assets available for this purpose. Many nonprofits offer a partially-refundable entrance fee for independent living homes that can offset medical expenses and other financial needs, in the event that a resident runs out of money.
Often faith-based. Putting others first, service, and kindness are important values in Christianity and other religions, and many nonprofit senior living communities are religiously affiliated. This does not necessarily mean that all residents must share that particular faith. Staff and board members of faith-based retirement communities are typically quite invested in the quality of senior care they provide and offer meaningful faith-based activities, such as Bible study sessions, to those interested in them.
Provide peace of mind. For all of the above reasons, choosing a nonprofit CCRC as your senior living destination can offer considerably greater peace of mind than the for-profit alternative. You’ll only have to financially qualify once, and you don’t have to worry about being evicted from the community due to future inability to pay. You’ll enjoy the sincere high-quality care and support of staff members, and if it’s important to you, you can also be surrounded by residents and staff who share your faith and values.
Chapel Pointe is a faith-based continuing care retirement community. We commit each day to serving and enhancing the quality of life for people aged 62+ in Central Pennsylvania. We’re honored that our greater community sees the servant-heart of our nonprofit organization and consistently selects Chapel Pointe as “The Best of Cumberland County.”
Nestled in eight beautifully landscaped acres in Carlisle, PA, our welcoming campus is filled with interesting places to explore and amenities that make life easy and enjoyable. Bird-watch from the gazebo, take a quiet moment in the chapel, curl up with a book in the library, join a friend for coffee in the sunroom, use the free internet in the café, take the shuttle for a daytrip, or just pull up a chair for some good conversation.
Since the beginning, our team's mission has been to ensure that every resident is treated with love and the utmost respect. Experiencing our core values—trust, integrity, faith, service, and innovation—lived out every day at Chapel Pointe reassures seniors that they are making the right decision by welcoming us into their lives. Contact us to learn more about our community or support our mission by making a donation today!
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770 South Hanover Street
Carlisle, PA 17013