Watch Out: These Nonprofit Senior Living Providers are Gamechangers

Several companies feature prominently as rapid changers in terms of growth on the 2012 LeadingAge Ziegler 100 of the nation’s top not-for-profit senior living organizations, effectively changing the face of the industry through expansions, acquisitions, and new development, and many organizations topping the list of those with the most growth in 2011 also grew substantially—and consistently—in the past decade. 

“The ability of a not-for-profit to manage consistent growth over an extended period of time is generally evidence of an organization that has sound strategic principles in place as well as a good understanding of the management infrastructure necessary to manage that pace of growth,” says the report. “These organizations have found the appropriate alignment among their constituencies… It may also be evidence of the tenure of particular key executives and teams in combination with governance that has chosen to implement a master plan.”

Between 1990 and 2011, the following organizations demonstrated the most change in terms of aggregate growth: 

  • Senior Quality Lifestyle Corporation (#36 on the LZ100)
  • National Senior Campuses (#2)
  • SantaFe Senior Campuses (#49)
  • Loretto (Catholic Charities, Diocese of Syracuse) (#33)
  • Ecumen (#17)
  • Garden Spot Village (#94)
  • National Church Residences (#38)
  • Lutheran Senior Services (#9)
  • Christian Care Companies (#28)
  • United Church Homes & Services (#79)

In 2011 alone, Senior Quality Lifestyle Corporation came in at number one with a nearly 50% increase in total units after opening two communities with about 500 units that year.

Other organizations on that list of 2011 gamechangers include The Kendal Corporation (18.23%), Christian Care Communities (17.97%), Providence Life Services (16.89%), Lifespace Communities, Inc. (12.72%), Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America (12.25%), and Mather LifeWays (12.23%). 

When considering growth in terms of units added, the two lists also feature organizations such as Retirement housing Foundation and ACTS Retirement-Life Communities, Inc. in addition to those named above.


Expansion is the most common method for organizations to grow, and much of that is driven by the addition of units dedicated to memory care. Nearly 90% now offer designated memory support units. Growth is also achieved by building new communities and the second most common method, followed by mergers/acquisitions/affiliations with other organizations. 

“Multi-site organizations appear to be maximizing the utilization of their existing real estate, renovating and expanding on existing property whenever possible,” LeadingAge/Ziegler note. “Organizations are balancing their growth with a continued focus on renovating and replacing of older units.”

However, despite this growth, the number of organizations on LeadingAge Ziegler’s top 100 list reporting a net reduction in the number of units between the end of 2010 and the end of 2011 actually increased, from 25% to nearly 30%, while an additional 28% reported no net change. 

“Dispositions have increased dramatically in the last six years,” says the report, attributing the “recent acceleration” in the pace of dispositions to nursing home closures or sales. 

Click here for more information on the 2012 LeadingAge Ziegler 100.

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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