The senior care industry is one that fulfills a consistent demand—people will never stop growing older, after all—and the older a person gets, the more assistance and care they will need to live their normal day-to-day lives. Because of this, many entrepreneurs are looking into starting a senior care business or buying into a senior care franchise. Before you begin taking the thought seriously, it’s essential that you do your research. For example, the following are seven things that you should know about the senior care industry:
1. There Are Two Types of Home Healthcare Businesses
There are two types of home healthcare businesses that you can own and operate—medical home healthcare and non-medical home healthcare. Medical home healthcare businesses are generally reimbursed by either Medicare or Medicaid—and they provide skilled care. This would include tasks like dispensing medication, changing wound dressings, providing injections and providing various rehabilitation treatments. It does take a few years, however, to get the proper licensing and certification in order to run a medical home healthcare business.
Non-medical home care businesses provide less demanding services, such as washing, dressing, grooming, feeding, housekeeping, transportation to medical appointments, medication reminders and companionship.
2. The Elderly Population Will Continue to Grow
The baby boomer generation is growing older every year, which is resulting in a much larger population of seniors. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the baby boomers represent 20 percent of the population. They only recently hit the retirement age mark of 65, and the last of their generation will turn 65 in 2029.
This fact along with the fact that people are generally living longer in this day and age means that there will be a much larger elderly population in need of care in the future. In fact, the Census Bureau actually predicts that there will be more people over the age of 65 than under the age of 18 by 2056. All of this means that there will continue to be a demand for senior care in general.
3. Demand for In-Home Care Continues to Grow
According to the HHS (Department of Health and Human Services), around 70 percent of Americans over the age of 65 need some kind of long-term care. The advancements made in medical technologies over the past decades has also made it so that seniors who are in need of care can receive it safely from home. In the past, seniors who needed care would require institutional care. Now that there is a choice, most seniors would prefer to receive in-home care, as this allows them to keep their independence, their privacy and their home.
4. The Senior Living Industry Is Booming
Because of the continued demand for in-home care as well as the rapid increase in the elderly population, the senior living industry is currently at an all-time high. The industry even managed to continue increasing during the Great Recession, when other industries were being hit by hard times. During the periods of 2007 and 2010, the senior living industry even managed to ad over 84,000 jobs. According to many experts, to keep up with the demand of senior care, the industry will need to add 1.2 million new employees by 2025.
5. People Skills Are a Must
If you plan on getting into the senior care industry by either starting a senior care business or investing in a senior care franchise, then it’s important to understand that it’s not just about the act of providing seniors with the care they need, whether it’s medical or non-medical care. It’s also about providing companionship and making the seniors you’re working with feel comfortable and safe.
Additionally, you are going to need to have strong people skills in order to deal with the families of the senior you’re providing care to. Family members often constantly worry about the senior you’re providing care to and will request regular updates. You’ll need to have the people and communication skills necessary to show patience and understanding to these family members as well as to ensure them that their family member is getting the best treatment and care that they can get.
If there’s one industry that has shown consistent demand and shows no signs of slowing down, it’s the senior care industry. These are five things that you should know about the senior care industry before you make the decision to start your own senior care business or to invest in an existing senior care franchise.