Esther Cromwell’s Journey From Caring Neighbor to Franchisor

Avendelle Assisted Living Franchise

Meet the Entrepreneur Who Turned Her Personal Mission into Avendelle Assisted Living, a Unique Residential Senior Care Franchise

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When Esther Cromwell was in her 20s, she lived next door to an elderly woman who just lost her husband. She took it upon herself to regularly check in on her after work, spend quality time together, and lend a helping hand around the house. Their bond grew, and they became great friends. “I looked forward to it every day. I think I got much more out of it than she did,” she says with a laugh.

Ester Cromwell, Avendelle Assisted Living
Esther Cromwell was inspired to create Avendelle Assisted Living to give seniors more personalized care.

As time went on, and her neighbor’s health declined, Cromwell became acutely aware of the limited options available for senior care. “Not everyone wants to be in a large assisted living facility,” she says. That’s when Cromwell had the idea that eventually led to the Avendelle Assisted Living franchise, a service that cares for seniors in converted homes in residential neighborhoods. Each home has five to eight residents with two to three caregivers and other staff. “A residential setting provides not just a homelike setting but an actual home environment where residents are encouraged to be as independent as possible but still receive the care they need.”

Personalized Senior Care

Avendelle Assisted Living Franchise
Avendelle Assisted Living franchises care for seniors in converted homes in residential neighborhoods.

In 2006, Cromwell and her husband, Douglas, established the first Avendelle location, and in 2014, they began offering franchising opportunities. “After opening our fourth location, we saw the difference our care was providing to the lives of our residents and their family members. More and more families were saying that we need to open additional locations. Franchising was the obvious choice in order to help this happen,” she says. Presently, there are 11 locations open and more in development.

Residential Assisted Living Franchise

Franchise owners have the flexibility to start with one location and expand later or plan multiple units from the start. For example, Cromwell says that a franchisee can plan a mini-village by building/buying a cluster of homes in a cul-de-sac. “This has several advantages in that it also allows owners of multiple locations to share employees and resources.”

While a background in health care and business is ideal for franchise owners, the most crucial attribute is a caring heart and a genuine desire to help others. As Cromwell says, “For those entrepreneurs who find purpose in caring for others, this work fuels your soul.”

About Avendelle Assisted Living

The assisted living franchise offers individualized care in a homey setting. Here’s what sets it apart.

  • It operates in a converted residential home.
  • Only five to eight residents occupy the home.
  • Two caregivers are on-site 24/7 to help, but residents can do some tasks independently.
  • The high staff-to-resident ratio allows caregivers to stay attuned to altered behavior and physical symptoms. Caregivers learn each client’s patterns and quickly notice a change in mood, health or sleep; they request specialized follow-up care as warranted.
  • Residents can decorate, choose activities and maintain their preferred schedules. Avendelle franchises are not institutionalized facilities that adhere to a fixed schedule.

For more information about the Avendelle Assisted Living franchise, visit

The Growing Senior Services Market

The 65-and-older population is on the rise and is projected to grow by 55 percent by 2030. This aging population is driving the U.S. senior housing market. According to, more than 800,000 senior housing units will be added in the U.S. by 2030. The real estate news site calls this demand a ”Silver Tsunami.”

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Jill Abrahamsen’s career spans more than 20 years in editorial, design, and marketing roles. She serves as editor-in-chief of Franchise Consultant Magazine and FranchiseWire. Through both platforms, Jill reports on franchising news and helps Franchisors spread the word about their brands.
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