I was recently speaking with someone about a woman who worked for a non-profit nursing home for many years. She liked it there and the facility provided good care. Then the facility was sold to a for-profit corporation. Overnight, staff hours were cut, pay was cut, and care declined. The person I was speaking with could not believe this could happen–I was not surprised as sadly I’ve seen this occur many times.
If an administrator at a non-profit tells her board of directors she made a little money that year and gave great care, she’s applauded. However, if that same administrator tells the same thing to a for-profit board, she’s getting fired. The replacement knows that staffing is the biggest expense and that’s where you will see the cuts.
While no one faults a company for making money, when they do so at the expense of the residents that’s a problem.
Simply because a facility is a for-profit corporation does not guarantee poor care. They may do a perfectly good job. However, there is undeniably a profit motive in a for-profit organization. If you have a loved one in a facility going through this change, be vigilant. You have the right to expect the same high level of care for your resident whether non-profit or for-profit.
Don’t be afraid to be a good advocate! If you have concerns after a sale, ask for a care conference. Make sure they’re doing everything that needs to be done. Ask about staffing levels – especially CNA to resident ratios – because this directly correlates to better care. Make sure your resident is getting fed and if bed bound, is being turned on a routine basis—these tasks tend to suffer when a facility is short-staffed. Proactively working with a transitioning facility gives your resident the best chance for the best care.