Monday, November 30, 2015

Nonprofit Retirement Communities: Frequently-asked Questions

In many parts of the country, nonprofit retirement communities abound.  If you're looking for housing and care for your aging parent, you'll see them.  So what's the difference between the nonprofits and the profits?  Take a look below:

1.  Are for profit retirement communities more profitable than nonprofits? 

Not necessarily.  There are for-profit senior communities that are weak financially and others that are strong.  The same goes for not-for-profits.   There's an old saying that rings true when it comes to nonprofits:  "No margin, no mission."  Financial stability is crucial for both groups to serve their residents and communities well.

2.  What does each group (nonprofit and for-profit) do with profits they make from their organization?

For-profits pay their investors and owners, both at the building level and at the corporate level. Non-profits must be socially accountable, investing in programs which will benefit those they directly service and the community at large.  Many nonprofit senior communities set aside monies for a benevolence fund for elders who run out of money.  Other nonprofits offer specialized training and scholarships to their employees.  Still others sponsor volunteer programs to reach out to those in need in the community.

3.  Are nonprofit retirement always faith-based (sponsored by churches)?

Many are church affiliated, but others are connected with lodges, hospitals or charitable foundations.  They are governed by volunteer boards, generally composed of people with expertise in a variety of fields which will be helpful to the community.

4.  How do charitable contributions help the nonprofits?

Individuals are able to give money to the retirement community, usually through a foundation or department of development.  They can deduct these contributions from their taxes.  In addition, in many states, nonprofit retirement communities are excerpt from a portion or all of the campus' property tax.

5.  Are monthly fees more or less at for-profits than at their nonprofit counterparts?

There are nonprofits offering affordable communities, and others that charge much more because of their luxurious lifestyle.  The same is true for for-profits:  varied price points, depending on their location and their prospective residents.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Senior Care Professionals: Some Words to Live By

I'm a blogger with two audiences.  Most of you read because you have an elderly parent or loved one, and you're grappling with a particular issue.  The rest of you read because you work in the senior care field.

This post is for professionals.  It's my opportunity to share some unsolicited advice, not because I relish doing so, but because it's needed.  I've seen the need staring at me and others over the course of 20 years in the senior care field. 

As my minister father used to say from the pulpit: "I'm preaching this sermon as much for me as for you."  My three-point sermon is directed at you, me, and all of us working with seniors and their families.

1.  Be nice.  Your clients may be crabby, unreasonable and once in awhile, outright mean.  But we need to remember that they are the customer.  We are not.  And they may be facing one of the biggest challenges of their lives with an issue--or multiple issues--relating to their aging parent. 
Because of that stress, they may doff their usual persona and become Mother Bear or the Drill Sergeant.  We, on the other hand, need to act like grownups, even when we're peopled out by the end of the day.  Remember the old television show, Candid Camera?  And the surprising line, "Smile, you're on candid camera?"  Corny but true, a smile will do wonders for our customers, especially those who are hurting.

2.  Speak the truth in love.  Actually, those words are found in the Bible.  Sometimes it's easy for us to withhold information which is needed but is hard to swallow.  For example, in my line of work, I deal with children who think their parent will live in a spacious private room in a modern adult family home on Medicaid.  But that's not the case.  I need to empathize with their disappointment at the disparity between their ideal and reality.  Another truth:  If we don't have enough information to explain the "why's" of a particular situation,  we need to educate ourselves or find someone more knowledgeable.

3.  Say 'Yes' more than you say, 'No.' Sometimes "No" may be technically the right answer, but rephrasing the statement to emphasize the positive works better.  Telling a resident, "No, you can't leave the community by yourself," may be true.  But saying something like, "This is a good place for you to become healthier and stronger.  We want you to stay for that reason," may work better. 
Related Posts with Thumbnails