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Aging gracefully: how healthcare franchising is looking out for the elderly

Aging gracefully: how healthcare franchising is looking out for the elderly

The senior population is growing every day, and for families, this could mean hefty hospital bills – that is, unless these philanthropic franchises have anything to say about it

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Growing old doesn’t just mean graying hair and achy joints. It isn’t all about senior discounts and shaking a fist at rowdy teens. For the right individuals, the elderly present a wonderful opportunity to pursue a career that is both fulfilling and mutually beneficial. For the right entrepreneur, this growing demographic could mean success beyond measure.

The fact is this: we’re all going to grow old. No matter how many anti-aging creams we slather on, or workout routines we may puff and pant through, our bodies will eventually show signs of wear and tear. In fact, by only 2022, the number of senior citizens aged 65 and above will total more than 688 million – or 11.6 per cent of the overall global population, according to data and accounting organization, Deloitte.

With an inexorably growing demographic comes increased value. According to Interim Healthcare, the U.S. home healthcare market is set to reach upward of $364.69bn by 2022, at a compound growth rate of 8.8 per cent. In America alone, individuals aged 65 and up will make up around 30 per cent of the national population, and many of these will require personalized care. The fact is that more and more people want to age in their own homes – hence the need for bespoke, affordable home care franchises.

Why care about care?
Far from merely a quick paycheck, the home care industry is contributing to a valuable cause in society: looking out for those most vulnerable. Loneliness, for example, is a proven killer of seniors; in the States, more than 40 per cent of older people regularly experience loneliness, according to a University of California, San Francisco study. This is even more significant for those aged 85 and older – the “oldest old” members of our society, as described by The Center for Disease Control and Prevention – who will triple from 6.3 million in 2015 to 17.9 million by 2050. If there’s anything to take away from these numbers, it’s that we need unparalleled and proven franchises to care for our parents, grandparents, and, eventually, ourselves. Services like Driving Miss Daisy, which operates in the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand, and provides companionship and transportation to seniors.

“It is always a benefit, mentally and physically, to remain within your own home where everything is familiar and personal to you”

Or Right at Home, the huge healthcare franchise operating in multiple regions around the globe, offering all-round support to seniors and families. The brand’s model has been designed “so that people can build trusting relationships, and they can be encouraged to do what they can for themselves,” says Kate Dilworth, franchise recruitment manager. “You’re not only getting one-to-one attention from the carer in your own home; you’re getting a support package that’s specifically designed to suit an individual’s needs.”

No place like home
While some care services may supply professionals to hospitals and institutions, such as Kare Plus, the in-home care sector, specifically, is seeing a meteoric rise in all markets. People simply want to stay in their own homes for as long as possible, and they’re willing to invest in a renowned franchise to do it.

In fact, according to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), 87 per cent of adults aged 65 and above want to stay in their current home – and their familiar community – as they grow old. Not only does this reduce the strain on public health services and hospitals, but a sense of familiarity can drastically assist with care for patients suffering from degenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s.

It’s not just about helping with these conditions, though. Staying in their own home for as long as possible allows a franchise’s client to maintain a measure of independence and autonomy, that simply isn’t afforded by being admitted to an external facility.

“It is always a benefit, mentally and physically, to remain within your own home where everything is familiar and personal to you,” says Michelle Fenwick, director at Heritage Healthcare. “This is usually a client’s first choice.”

Perfectly personable
As with many sectors, care is an industry that seems impenetrable to entrepreneurs who lack an employment history populated with the ‘right’ kind of jobs. The good news? Working in care isn’t a requirement for joining a care franchise. “I’m not looking for people with a background in care,” says Dan Archer, MD of Visiting Angels.

“If [franchisees] have had a situation with a family member where they’ve seen how difficult it is to find good quality care, then that can definitely be a driver for wanting to do something different.”

Franchisors handle much of the rules and regulations surrounding this (appropriately) complex sector, and copious training is delivered to hopeful franchisees to ensure the all-important end-user – the person receiving care – is treated to the highest standards possible. Franchisees don’t need to be health experts, but they do need to have compassion, empathy, and a personable demeanor.

According to the AARP, around 10,000 people will turn 65 every single day, and research conducted by the Home Care Association of America identified that 40 per cent of adults in that age range will need daily assistance. This is an undisputably growing sector, and for an empathetic, motivated, savvy business person? It’s time to care.


- 280 miles distance between U.S. seniors and their nearest child (Source: AARP)

- $517.23bn value of global healthcare franchise market by 2025 (Source: Grand View Research)

- 668 million seniors by 2020 (Source: Deloitte)

Also read
Interview: Dan Archer, Visiting Angels

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