It has been suggested by several people that my recent criticisms against not-for-profit senior living establishments have been unfair attacks. I stand by the articles I have written but I have a two-part confession to make.

Over the last several weeks I have written and published two articles that have been critical of portions of the not-for-profit senior living world:

Luxury Not-For-Profit Senior Living — HUH?

Senior Housing Forum On Tour: When The Not For Profit Difference is Bad

It has been suggested by several people that my criticisms have been unfair attacks. I stand by the articles I have written but I have a two-part confession to make.

What I Want for My Mom

In the second of the two articles listed above I chronicle my search for a nursing home for my mom. Trust me, when you are going through these things with someone you love, having expertise makes it only a little better. It also makes it worse because you know all the things that can go wrong.  

While my mom ended up in a for-profit nursing home where things are going okay, I am regretful that I did not push harder to find a not-for-profit. Mom and the rest of the family feel the staff at the place she is living just don’t care that much. The LVNs and Nursing Assistants are busting their butts, but they always have another call bell to answer or med to give.   

Someone from the family has been at the nursing home every day since she moved in and there has never, not once, been a time when there were not call lights going off. There has never once been a time that the nursing sitting at the nursing station didn’t seem oblivious to the call bell audible alarms.

She is improving where she is at and moves are hard, so she will stay where she is at, but I do wish I had gone the not-for-profit route.

What I Want For My Son

A few years ago my early 30s son decided to buckle down and get his college degree. This month he graduated from the University of Washington and is now looking for an entry level job in the senior living industry. As we have talked about places to look for that first position, I find myself leaning strongly in the direction of the not-for-profit world. There are two reasons for this:

  1. They are more likely to have the resource to hire someone like him.

  2. They are more likely to provide the resources that will help him grow.

And yet . . . he has had interactions with three organizations, two not-for-profits and one for-profit. It is frustrating because the not-for-profits seem to have no sense of urgency and the for profit does. He will be a good catch for someone and as likely as not will end up in the hands of a for-profit organization because they are actually moving things forward.

A Higher Standard

I guess my bottom line is that I find myself holding the not-for-profit senior living world to a higher standard. They have one less master to answer to and as a result, they should be better at pretty much everything . . . resident care, culture development, management practices, leadership development . . . everything.

And yet in both cases not-for-profits is my first choice.