Recognizing your parent, grandparent or other relative could use some assistance can be a life-changing decision. It’s not easy for seniors to get used to leaving their old lives behind and start new ones in assisted living communities, and it’s not easy for families to figure out how to afford the care and make sure their loved ones are happy. You can make the transition somewhat easier by choosing a nonprofit facility.
Better Food and Activities
Active senior living in Connecticut involves a happier environment with plenty of things to do. Assisted living isn’t the same as a nursing home; it’s a place for seniors to live independently, knowing that help is nearby if and when they need it. However, the assisted living centers that care about their residents recognize a lot of people who live there may be unable to drive or may prefer doing things as a group. That’s why they offer compelling activities for anyone in the community to participate in, like trips to plays, casinos, movies, museums and other attractions.
Since many seniors prefer dining with company, the best communities offer appealing food choices in a community restaurant or cafeteria for those who choose not to cook in their own kitchens. The nonprofits have steady budgets to work with, so they can always devote money to providing good food and entertainment for their residents. When the for-profits are struggling, “extra” things like appealing food and activities often get the shaft first.
Better Worker-Resident Ratio
A nonprofit community is likely to have a healthy worker-resident ratio, so you can rest easy knowing that your loved one will have help should she need it. For-profits push for more residents and fewer workers because they need to bring in the funding residents provide without spending money on worker’s salaries. This kind of unfortunate business practice leads to ignored residents who aren’t getting what they, and their families, are paying for: accessible help.
A non-profit retirement community in Connecticut is more likely to have happier workers. The workers there know their jobs are more secure, as are their salaries. They won’t be facing a wage cut because the community didn’t get enough residents one year. They won’t be overworked and stressed out because the community brought in too many residents when there weren’t enough workers to properly take care of them. The more relaxed workers feel, the more confident they are in their jobs and wages, and the better treatment your loved ones will receive.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming the worker-resident ratio isn’t an issue because your loved one is independent. Residents will still interact with workers if they need a lift, spend time in the community areas or otherwise ask for assistance. Having to deal with irritable workers who clearly are unhappy can make your loved one’s life miserable — and there’s no escape for him when he lives there. Inquire about the worker-resident ratio when taking a tour of a community.
Even though it’s the nonprofit communities that offer better activities and food along with happier workers at a more productive worker-to-resident ratio, they’re surprisingly the centers that cost less, too. Assisted living in for-profit facilities isn’t cheap. Many families go bankrupt trying to afford the for-profit centers — or they simply can’t afford them to begin with. Nonprofits don’t rely on the money from their residents’ and residents’ families to operate. That means they can afford to charge residents the least amount possible, sometimes even offering scalable rent based on income.
PBS reports 82 percent of senior living centers in the U.S. are private and for-profit. It’s worth taking the extra effort to tour a nonprofit facility, even if it’s not the norm. The seniors in the nonprofit assisted living centers make up a vibrant community of active individuals. Your loved ones have a better chance of being happier and healthier in a nonprofit community — and it’s more affordable, too.