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Senior Home Care Industry’s Growth Potential Attracts Caring Entrepreneurs
The International Franchise Association says senior care is among the franchise industry's highest-growth sectors. This is not surprising since an estimated 10,000 people each day in the United States turns 65.
If owning a business that makes a positive difference in people’s lives sounds appealing, then a senior home care franchise, or one that serves seniors and others in their homes, may just be what you have been looking for. There is, however a lot to consider prior to investing one.
The home care industry is basically divided between skilled (medical) and non-skilled (non-medical) care. While both address aiding those in need, they are vastly different. One of the main differences from an operating and legal/licensure standpoint revolves around medications. Skilled care providers such as nurses and LPNs, can administer medications, injections, infusion therapy, etc. Non-skilled care providers cannot. Their services are focused around Companion Care, which includes light housekeeping, meals, walks, errands, etc., and Personal Care, which includes daily living activities that involve touch such as bathing, oral hygiene, getting dressed, continence care, etc.
Pros & Cons of Medical & Non-Medical Care
It is a fact that in today’s current political and health care environment, skilled home care carries with it much more risk and arguably less return on investment than non-skilled care. Factors working against the skilled care environment include, but are limited to, dealing with Medicaid, Medicare and long term insurance reimbursement, which essentially results in extended accounts receivables while you “float” the cash necessary for operations and payroll. In addition you have to contend with pricing pressures and caps being imposed by the CMS (www.cms.gov) and having a three to five times higher insurance cost coverage in order to protect your business.
The less risky non-medical home care sector was estimated to be a $70 billion industry last year. Non-medical home care clients are generally private pay, although Medigap, Long Term Care Insurance (LCTI) and veteran’s benefits are available as well.
Who is Your Customer?
The other main thing to consider when looking at the home care industry is the clientele.
Are you looking to service only seniors or a greater pool of the population? Some concepts strictly focus on seniors while others may also serve infants and adults in addition to providing hospice care. There are clear differences operationally and from a staffing perspective depending on who your client base is.
Each state has slightly different requirements for owners and staff home care businesses. Fulfilling the requirements is in many cases fairly simple and inexpensive, but this is not always the case. Meeting those required by Florida, New York and North Carolina to name a few can be challenging. Make sure you are fully aware of your state’s requirements. The most efficient approach is to align yourself with the franchise brand of your choice that is in your state since it has all this information already and can walk you through the entire process.
When looking at home care franchise options, it’s important to consider each of the points above. Doing so will help you quickly narrow your choices down. It is also essential to find out what current franchisees at the franchise you are considering think of it. Be sure to contact at least half a dozen and to look to see if the franchise makes its franchisee satisfaction survey data available at www.FranchiseBusinessRevew.com. One franchise that offers lower risk and high revenue potential by providing non-medical in-home care and the ability to serve a large customer base is FirstLight HomeCare. Its services cover household duties like cooking to individual needs such as bathing. In addition, it can help with errands, paperwork and more. FirstLight HomeCare also provides both short-term home care and long-term home care to people of all ages including seniors, infants, new moms, people with disabilities, and people recovering from illness or surgery
Once you’ve selected the home care franchise you feel is best for you, you’ll be on your way to making a living doing something that helps others. You will also enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that your business will not be impacted by fluctuations in the economy. According to AARP, 92 percent of people over the age of 65 want to stay in their homes as long as possible and, as was pointed out earlier, 70,000 people turn 65 each week.
This blog post is sponsored by FirstLight HomeCare, one of Franchise Business Review's top-rated Senior Care franchise brands for 2015.