Is For-profit or Non-profit Better in Senior Housing?

Is For-profit or Non-profit Better in Senior Housing?

Tug of WarWhat’s better? What’s the senior housing spin?

My mother moved into a not-for-profit Continuing Care Retirement Community. That’s where I started my senior housing career. I sold the not-for-profit status as better and more mission driven than the money grubby for-profits, because that was what all the not-for-profits said and did.

I was naive for three reasons, because later I learned:

  1. A non-profit board that did not understand seniors or senior housing made financial decisions for the entire senior living community.
  2. Most of the profits at the non-profit went towards other ministry work instead of being reinvesting back into the senior community.
  3. A resident was sexual abused by a non-profit staff member, even though every employee professed to be Christian.

Then my senior housing career switched to for-profit. It can be pretty dog-eat-dog aggressive at some companies. It really varies in the senior living industry if the resident is number one or the stockholders are the primary concern. So you better find out before you consider moving there or working there.

If a sales person can’t hit the required sales numbers, you are simply fired at some for-profits. Maybe that’s why so many sales people are impersonal and just want to know if you are ready now? If a senior is not ready now, the sales person has no interest in calling a senior back after they have toured. This is sad, because most seniors need to come back several times before making a decision to move. A relationship needs to be built. 

At for-profit senior living communities, most financial decisions go towards the benefit of the stockholders. But there are some amazing administrators that love, adore and would walk on hot coals for their residents and staff. So resident centered communities can vary by location and not the owner in my opinion.

There are actually two types of for-profits: Those on the stock exchange and boutique communities that are run by families or attentive owners. I am lucky to work for a for-profit that is run by attentive owners. They have the heart of a not-for-profit and are completely resident centered and mission driven.

The communities I represent do something very unique for Continuing Care Retirement Communities. They offer a Guarantee of Care for life, if a resident outlives their resources. Every resident has the same offer, it is not limited to 5 or 10 residents on a good Samaritan fund or foundation. 

Do you agree with my analogies or am I completely off base?  How would you evaluate the differences?

Your Senior Housing Options,” has a simplistic title, but what’s inside this new book can save a you months of research time.  Hear Diane Masson’s interview of how her mother and in-law’s faced the pivotal decision to plan ahead or wait until a crisis.  Learn the pitfalls from transitioning from your home to senior housing.  Understand what questions to ask, insider tips and dirty secrets revealed. For weekly tips join at: 

Diane Masson has worked in senior housing for 17 years and is the regional marketing director for two debt-free Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Southern CA (Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet).  Her first book “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” is being utilized by senior housing professionals across the country.  Both her first book and second book, “Your Senior Housing Options,” have a 5-star rating on

Feeling Critiqued Versus Evaluated in Senior Living?

Feeling Critiqued Versus Evaluated in Senior Living?

Do They Feel Harshly Criticized?

Do They Feel Harshly Criticized?

“Critique” and “evaluate” are two simple words but often misconstrued by the receiver.

In a recent team meeting, one department head described how one of her staff cries every time she tries to critique her.  This makes it very difficult for this supervisor to work with her employee.  The senior living team brainstormed together.  Another department head said that it really should be called “evaluating performance” of the staff member and not critiquing.

It is the responsibility of supervisors in senior living communities to continually evaluate his or her residents and document everything (particularly in skilled nursing care, assisted living and memory care).  It sounds so simple, yet when a supervisor starts evaluating the caregiver providing the care to the resident…it can be misinterpreted as harsh criticism.

Hopefully, supervisors continually critique themselves and try to improve their own coaching skills.  How is a supervisor approaching an employee to administer an evaluation or yearly review?  Everyone has different personalities and some supervisor’s direct approach can be confrontational to another personality type.  Our marketing team just read, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” by Dale Carnegie.  It is an excellent book on how to interact with other employees.  Evaluations should be capitalized on as a teaching opportunity, so the evaluated employee can continually improve.

Can you share how you evaluate your senior living employees?  How do you handle an employee who reacts negatively and turns the performance improvement plan into a personal attack on them?

Please share your successes, failures or comment below to join the conversation and interact with other senior living professionals on what is currently being effective to increase occupancy on a nationwide basis.

Diane Twohy Masson is the author of “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available at with a 5-star rating.  The book is required reading at George Mason University as a part of its marketing curriculum.  Within this book, the author developed a sales & marketing method with 12 keys to help senior living providers increase their occupancy.   Masson developed this expertise as a marketing consultant, sought-after blogger for senior housing and a regional marketing director of continuing care retirement communities in several markets.  She has also been a corporate director of sales and a mystery shopper for independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled care nursing communities in multiple states.  Currently, Masson is setting move-in records as the regional marketing director of two debt-free Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Southern California – Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California.  Interestingly, this career started when she was looking for a place for her own mom and helped her loved one transition through three levels of care.

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