You might be wondering if home care is the right industry for your business. Home care for seniors is a growing franchise sector that does not show signs of slowing down. There are a number of factors contributing to the growth of the senior home care franchise industry, including a booming senior population.
However, the aging population offers benefits on a larger scale, impacting the home care industry as a whole. Let's discuss some of the current and predicted trends for home care and the potential reward that it offers franchises.
1. Unique Growth
As the elderly population grows, the need for home care services grows in stride. This is a unique opportunity that other industries cannot fully take advantage of. No other industry can boast the same velocity of growth as senior care. In fact, some markets are shrinking, like the child care industry.
Why does the senior population continue to grow? Here are a few factors that result in the unique boom in the home care industry.
- Seniors live longer, increasing life expectancy
- There is better access to healthcare services than ever before
- Technological advancement has improved quality of healthcare
- Risk factors for certain chronic conditions are more easily identified and managed
The senior care market offers franchisors and franchisees an extremely lucrative opportunity, while also providing an opportunity to give back.
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2. Global Impact
While the number of elderly citizens is rising in the United States, this trend isn’t unique to our country. The entire world’s senior population is continuing to grow at a staggering rate.
As a result, families across the globe are experiencing the same issues of caring for a loved one at home. They struggle to balance work, family, and caregiving. Therefore, the home care industry is rising in many countries to meet this demand of a growing senior population.
But what does that mean for home care franchises here in the US?
First of all, this worldwide trend helps increase awareness of the need for senior care services. There are still many who are unaware that non-medical services like ours exist. But as more families are faced with long-term care decisions, a spotlight shines more brightly on home care options.
Additionally, this universal problem provides franchisees with the opportunity to grow into additional markets outside of the United States. With the entire world filled with opportunity, there’s plenty of room for growth in the industry.
3. Preference to Age in Place
The overwhelming majority of seniors today would prefer to age in the comfort of their own home rather than move to an assisted living facility or nursing home. But why?
In part, the option to remain at home has not always been an option. For some, there were no home care services available locally. For others, cost may have been a huge barrier to getting care. Others may not have been aware of home care at all.
Today, home care is often the first choice for family members and aging seniors. It is often more flexible and much cheaper than a live-in facility. Aging in place also allows seniors to remain in the comfort of their own homes. Plus, caregivers can provide one-on-one attention and care, which is not available in most facilities.
4. Low Barriers to Entry
Low barriers to entry is another factor that makes home care businesses attractive to entrepreneurs. A home care business has very low overhead because it only requires a small office and a few computers. Because caregivers perform care in the client’s home, businesses do not need a large space or specialized equipment.
In some states, home care providers do not need a license to get started. In other states, like New Jersey, home care businesses must go through a licensing process. The time it takes to obtain a license depends on the state. However, it's often faster to get a home care license than a license to open a home health agency, which provides medical care.
A franchisee simply needs to have the proper technology to manage caregiver schedules and keep track of client information. At Caring Senior Service, we make this step even easier by offering our proprietary Tendio software. Tendio is a cloud-based platform that stores care plans and files, helps franchise owners manage caregiver schedules, and even contains direct communication features.
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5. Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance is a relatively new form of insurance that simply didn't exist a few decades ago. This insurance helps seniors cover home care costs to maintain their quality of life as they age. While the first long-term care policies were created in the 1970s, they didn't become a standard offering until the 1990s. Even today, many seniors today do have not a long-term care insurance policy.
But what exactly qualifies as long-term care?
Standard health insurance policies usually include coverage for short-term home health care, including home visits from nurses. But these visits only last for a few hours at most and aren't able to provide round-the-clock care. For example, nurse may come for an hour or so to take vitals or administer a new medication. Once the nurse leaves, the patient is left on their own at home.
That's where long-term care comes in. Long-term includes companionship, meal preparation, assistance with routine tasks, and other activities to support daily living. Caregivers can come into the home and provide personal care for an extended period of time.
Today, some whole life insurance policies offer long-term care options, so seniors can draw funds from their whole life insurance when they need to. Traditional, stand-alone long-term care policies are also still available, although less popular. With long-term care being covered in more insurance policies, there is a higher potential for home care companies to gain clients with insurance providers.
6. Technology Advancements
New technology has made aging in place even easier for seniors. For example, smart home appliances can be managed from a phone. Families can video chat their aging loved ones on a regular basis to check in. And medical alert devices can help detect falls and other emergencies and reach out to emergency medical services.
And new technology has also enabled home care companies to increase their service options to seniors and their families. For example, Caring Senior Service offers a family portal where a client's family and physicians can review care notes, medication lists, and more. We are also testing a remote system to allow for a 24/7 virtual caregiver to monitor a senior's home for emergencies.
For home care agencies, technology has ultimately made it easier to provide services at scale and manage client paperwork. However, we should never lose the one-on-one connection that is so important in our industry. We must strive to remain both high-tech and high-touch.
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7. Lack of Caregivers
In general, there is a lack of caregivers to help care for the growing senior population. While this might seem like a problem, it's actually a huge opportunity. You can help offer meaningful careers to individuals in your community while also supporting the aging population.
Americans are getting older. And as the number of seniors in the US continues to grow, they will continue to need care. There is no better time than now to consider investing in a senior home care franchise. By joining the industry now, you can build a solid caregiver pool and establish a strong recruitment plan.
Are You Ready to Join the Home Care Industry?
With these trends in mind, we expect home care franchisees to experience unparalleled growth in the coming years. And we want you to be a part of it! If you are interested in learning more about the home care industry, we would love to share our insight with you. Reach out to our team today to discover what rewards a home care franchise can offer you.