Why Choose a Not-for-Profit?
Not-for-Profit facilities have long been recognized as having a tradition of serving the needs of older persons. Such facilities, generally sponsored by religious organizations, fraternal groups or community-based agencies, are governed by volunteer boards of trustees who are committed to caring for the needs of older people. The trustees donate their time and expertise for just one reason: to assure that their residents receive high quality service and care. One important aspect of the Not-for-Profit is that any surplus income that is generated is turned back into the facilities, either to improve or expand the services they provide.
The continuum of care, often typical of the Not-for-Profit retirement facility, offers options for all older persons. The range of offerings is tremendous and can accommodate those who simply want the benefits of community to those who need a high level of care.
Assisted Living Facility
Assisted living residences are designed to meet special personal-service and housing needs, and often health care needs as well. Choices vary from single or double rooms to suites or apartments. Assisted living residences, also referred to as personal care, residential care, or domiciliary care, may be part of a retirement community, nursing home, elderly housing, or they may stand alone. The goal of assisted living is to help one continue living as independently as possible.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities
The Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) offers a lifestyle that appeals to a wide variety of older persons. This type of community offers a long-term contract providing for housing, services and health care, usually all on one site. Services are tailored to individual needs, but typically include nursing and other health services, meals, housekeeping, transportation, personal assistance and recreational and educational activities. Within the CCRC category, are life care facilities which meet higher standards regarding fees and covered services. Most CCRCs required an entrance fee and monthly payments thereafter. The rates vary significantly depending upon the type of accommodations and services and the extent to which health care is provided.
Several continuing care retirement communities have met the standards of the national Continuing Care Accreditation Commission (CCAC). The commission conducts extensive reviews of applicant facilities and accredits those that meet its standards.
Senior housing facilities are planned, designed and managed to provide for the housing needs of older persons. Such housing arrangements, often referred to as "independent living", vary in type of services offered. Some may only provide an age-segregated environment and an opportunity for socialization. In contrast, others provide services such as meals and housekeeping, as well as encouraging residents to access personal care services from the community as a means to maximize their potential to function independently. Senior housing facilities which have been developed or subsidized through federal programs are monitored by the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. Rents vary according to the size of the apartment, the services offered and the income group the facility is designed to serve. Government subsidies enable some facilities to serve low-income individuals.
Nursing facilities are long-term care facilities that integrate custodial care with nursing, psycho-social and rehabilitative services on a continuing basis. The goal of nursing home admission is different for every resident; some will return home after a brief rehabilitative stay; others will need care for an extended period. Regardless, good nursing homes enable all residents to capitalize on their strengths and compensate for their weaknesses in an atmosphere as home-like as possible. Nursing facilities are licensed by the state in which they are operating. Some residents or their families pay for the care out of their own private funds or with long-term care insurance. Others (whose finances are depleted) rely on Medicare to cover the costs. The federal Medicare program will cover limited rehabilitative services when it is determined that the individual will benefit from such care.