When you compare one continuing care retirement community (CCRC) to another, you will likely consider the community’s size, amenities, culture, and location, among other features. However, it is also important to look behind-the-scenes at the CCRC’s infrastructure, starting with its board of directors.

Although a CCRC is “home” to its residents, it is also a business. As a prospective resident, you want to make sure a CCRC is well-managed and sustainable so it will be able to meet your changing needs, now and into the future.

According to a study by FitchRatings (“Rating Guidelines for Nonprofit Continuing Care Retirement Communities,” Dec. 15, 2008), “[a] CCRC’s financial position and operating performance is highly influenced by the strategic direction and management oversight” of its board of directors. Further, “the effectiveness of the executive management team is critical to the success and long-term viability of any organization.”

Diversity matters

Multiple studies have confirmed that diversity plays an influential role in the health and longevity of a business. A recent study on diversity in business by McKinsey&Company concluded that “ . . . when companies commit themselves to diverse leadership, they are more successful.”

An ethnically and professionally diverse board of directors at a CCRC can set the tone for long-term success, helping the community to effectively address the changing needs of its residents. By drawing from a broad range of cultural and professional experience, a diverse board can increase staff retention and productivity, and foster an inclusive environment that encourages innovation and improves financial performance, among other benchmarks.

As you research your options among CCRCs and other retirement communities, remember to inquire about the membership and experience of the community’s board. Diversity among the directors may be a  good indicator that the organization is well-managed and will be successful long-term.

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