You likely think of a nursing home as a place that offers a service, similar to a hospital, with a focus on helping people who need it most. You imagine that the staff is inspired by a desire to make other people’s lives better every day.

While there is something to be said for these facilities attracting workers who like to help and care for others, it’s important to consider the real reason that nursing homes exist at all. They’re there to make a profit. Yes, they do provide a service and offer assistance to those who need it. However, the goal is for the home to make money.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a full 69.3% of nursing homes have a for-profit ownership structure.

This does not mean that you can’t get good care at a nursing home or that the management and staff aren’t compassionate. Many are. However, don’t assume that this is some service-based entity where everyone involved just wants the best for the seniors under their care. The home is set up to make money, many workers are just there for a paycheck, and the ownership may put things like profit and protecting their public image above everything else — just like many other businesses.

All of this is important to keep in mind if you think your loved one has been neglected or abused in a nursing home. If you suspect or know that they have, it’s essential to seek experienced legal guidance so that you can determine what steps you can take.