Data and your aging services organization

On May 5, the LeadingAge weekly newsletter published a piece by Stephen Maag about the benefits of good data for residential care and aging services facilities.

According to research by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), it was found that:

  • Residential care communities are more common in the Western region than any other region
  • 1% of residential care communities are for-profit, and 56% of them are part of a chain
  • 78% do not offer dementia care units

Why should you care about this data and other data coming out of reports like this? Because “These reports contain critical information that you can use to understand our rapidly changing field. That knowledge can help ensure that you will continue to be a successful part of that field for many years to come.”

Maag mentions that capturing and maintaining good data can help you see how you compare with similar organizations in the industry, identify trends for more strategic planning, make it easier to talk to policy makers about the needs for long-term services and quantify contributions being made by yourself and others. This data makes it possible to see where the current needs are for Life Plan Communities, and what they will need to continue providing services in the future.

No matter which nonprofit field you are working in, aging services or another, maintaining accurate and informative data is important. As funding from the government continues to decrease, it’s vital that nonprofit long-term care organizations use data to better understand the residents they serve and hope to serve in the future.

Maag says, “… don’t ignore the important role that data can plan in driving home important messages about the rapidly growing need for the services you provide, and the contributions you make each and every day to improve the vibrancy of your communities, and support individuals who are not your customers or residents of your communities.”