As more Americans age, the senior care industry continues to grow
In just two short years, 56 million Americans will be 65 years old or older. Looking forward a few decades, that number will grow to 84 million in 2050. As a nation, the U.S. is facing the challenge of caring for increasing numbers of seniors, most of whom who would prefer to age at home.
The dilemma in hard numbers:
- According to research, 90 percent of seniors want to stay in their homes as long as possible;
- About 80 percent believe they will stay in their current homes throughout the rest of their lives;
- but, of those Americans who reach the age of 65, at some point nearly 70 percent will be unable to care for themselves without assistance.
In this environment, entrepreneurs have an opportunity to invest in a growing senior care market through a reputable franchise network. Non-medical home care services can allow seniors to retain their independence while aging in place. It is estimated to be a $70 billion market segment that is currently being served by either independent providers or overburdened family caregivers. Meanwhile, demand for the services continues to accelerate. Non-medical care is becoming one of the fastest growing employment sectors and has the highest demand for services across the home care industry.
What is non-medical home care?
Non-medical home care fits in the niche between people needing medically skilled services and people who need non-medical companionship and help around the house. Home care offers companion care and personal care services to help seniors maintain their freedom and independence.
These services can include:
- Conversation and companionship
- Basic help around the house, such as light housekeeping, laundry service or meal preparation
- Transportation to and from appointments
- Reminders to take medication
- Assistance with eating, bathing or mobility
The majority of non-medical home care services are private pay today to ease the burden on the family. To effectively serve this growing population correctly, more and more states are creating licensure requirements for non-medical home care companies although it is inexpensive compared to the cost of licensing for medical in-home care companies.
Advantages of a non-medical care business
Because non-medical caregivers are not required to be nurses, labor costs are much lower compared to medical care, overhead costs factors are lower and typical profit margins for non-medical care business may be equal to or greater than their medically focused counterparts. The costs of insuring a non-medical care business are a fraction of those to insure a medical business.
The importance of a franchise
With so much market potential for non-medical home care for seniors, why shouldn’t an entrepreneur build a business from scratch and avoid franchise fees?
The reason is simple. Successful franchise systems provide greater potential for long-term success and growth than standalone business. By joining a franchise, you gain established brand recognition that will continue to grow. Successful franchisors have also developed administrative and support processes that provide their partners with tools and programs that help them accelerate their growth vs the industry.
The best franchises provide their partners with back-office systems for everything from sales and marketing to human resources and finance. Why reinvent the wheel?
Summing it up
The U.S. population is continuing to age, and demand for non-medical home care services for seniors will continue to grow. The home care industry is still young and the growth potential is significant. Partnering with a successful home care franchise can give you access to the tools needed to thrive in a marketplace that is resistant to the disruptions being seen in retail and other industries.
Jeff Bevis is co-founder and CEO of FirstLight Home Care, which is a top-rated non-medical home care provider with a network of offices that provides more than 93,000 hours per week in care for more than 4,300 clients in over 33 states. FirstLight Home Care has an average employee retention rate of 80 percent across its entire network.