When looking for a franchise to join back in 2006, Linda Pirog knew she wanted to join a business that would give her a sense of community where she could help others. That led her to purchasing a Seniors Helpers franchise and she’s been happily running it and helping seniors ever since.
“As soon as I got the information on Senior Helpers, I knew it was what we were looking for,” Purog said. “There wasn’t a doubt in my mind.”
Wanting to help people is often what attracts entrepreneurs to seniors care franchising.
First Light Home Care franchisee, for example, Eric Friedrich came from a medical family— his father was a doctor and his mother was a surgeon—and he felt compelled to join a franchise where he would be able to help others in much the same way.
Similarly, Angela Olea, CEO of Assisted Living Locators, which connects families of loved ones who require assisted living to the facilities that provide assisted living, started her franchise business in 2003 after seeing how difficult it was for families to get their senior loved ones into the right facility.
While it is the compulsion to help others that leads people to the seniors care franchising industry, it is also a lucrative business to get into.
Like most, the senior care franchising industry has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it still remains a viable option for people looking to start a franchise. The aging baby boomer population in the United States guarantees there will be a high demand for seniors care in the immediate future.
There are different segments to the seniors care franchise industry, the two main ones being in-home senior care franchises and residential franchise senior care facilities.
In-home senior care franchising
The in-home care portion of the industry provides healthcare services in people’s homes. Services may include skilled nursing care, homemaker and companion services, physical therapy and medical social services. While the vast majority of in-home healthcare is provided to people aged 65 and older, the industry does include in-home healthcare services delivered to people of all ages.
According to IBISWorld, the in-home senior care franchise industry grew 8 percent between 2014 and 2019, driven largely by the aforementioned aging baby boomer population and also advancements in medicine and technology making it easier for people to stay in their own homes and maintain their independence longer.
The high cost of nursing homes and assisted living accommodations, along with rising healthcare costs for hospital stays, has also helped drive demand for more at-home senior care.
ISIBWorld expects the in-home senior care franchise industry to continue its expansion over the next five years, as demand for this particular service continues to grow, along with the amount of the population who want to “age in place” rather than move into a facility.
“With the continued implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), demand for industry services will accelerate as seniors and the disabled are transitioned from nursing home services to at-home managed care,” says the IBISWorld In-Home Senior Care Franchises Industry in the US report.
Currently, the market size is $11 billion in the US with over 11,380 businesses making up the market and employing nearly 400,000 people.
The companies holding the largest market share in the In-Home Senior Care Franchises industry include:
- Home Instead Inc.
- Interim HealthCare Inc.
- Living Assistance Services Inc.
- Right at Home Inc.
- Comfort Keepers
- Griswold Home Care.
Residential senior care franchises
Franchises in this industry are facilities that primarily provide residential and personal-care services for elderly people who are unable to fully care for themselves.
Similarly to in-home senior care, the residential senior care franchise industry grew strongly over the last five years at 10.3 percent to $4.3 billion thanks to the aging population of the US. With over 54 million Americans in the 65 or older age category, senior residential franchises will continue to be a lucrative business in the future.
“Coupled with a strong economic environment, the industry’s growing markets are likely to entice more start-up brands to enter the industry,” says the IBISWorld Residential Senior Care Franchises Industry in the US report. “These new players will compete with established senior living community operators through aggressive marketing. Despite the success of the industry’s business model, franchise operators are expected to encounter challenges from falling reimbursement rates and rising competition.”
The current market size is $5 billion with 2,420 franchise businesses employing over 138,000 people.
The companies holding the largest market share in the Residential Senior Care Franchises industry include:
- Beehive Homes
- Century Oaks Assisted Living
- Country Place Living.
Desire to help
Entrepreneurs interested in purchasing a seniors care franchise, whether in-home, a facility or some other senior care related service, should have a desire to help people. While the industry is set to keep growing, it also has its challenges to contend with.
The COVID-19 pandemic, for example, has hit seniors care facilities especially hard, with many of the deaths experienced in the US and around the world being seniors and other vulnerable people who were either housed in facilities or exposed to the disease because of their in-home care services.
Senior care franchisees may also have trouble finding qualified people to work in their businesses. Depending on the level of care offered, qualifications could range from basic training all the way up to requiring registered nurses.
It’s important to note that if you are interested in buying and running a seniors care franchise, you don’t need to be a medical professional yourself. Running the franchise will be more of a sales and management role and you should receive training from your franchisor. They will also likely be able to help you find and train the right people to work in your franchise.
When you do join this rapidly expanding industry, you will enjoy a sense of fulfillment that few other types of businesses can provide. The challenges are many, but the feeling that you are truly helping people and making a positive difference in their lives is unmatched.