Market Sets Tempo For Growth Of Non Medical Home Care Businesses

by David Goodman
in Blog
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The fast-paced, edge of your seat, information-overloaded society we live in today has created many new trends in society and industry. Businesses are creating products and services, pushing to new levels of quality and convenience for their customers. This is clearly evident in the case of the non medical senior home care market

It wasn’t so long ago that when an elderly individual started to show physical and/or cognitive decline, there was usually a family member who lived nearby and could check on them.  That is less likely to be the case today for a number of different reasons.  First of all, many families live apart.  “Long distance caregivers,” who comprise a large and growing percentage of the population, live hours – if not states – apart.  Furthermore, in many families both spouses work, which means no one is around much of the day to care for an elderly parent.   

And while certain cultures still believe in the concept of multi-generational families living together, research shows it’s not really the American way. A recent USA Today-Gallup poll found that only 8 percent of people surveyed indicate that their parents have moved in with them.

In addition, while construction for senior communities has mushroomed in recent years, many elderly remain reluctant to move into independent and assisted living communities. Surveys show that nine out of 10 say they prefer to live at home as long as possible.  To them, like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, there is no place like home.  Then, there is the financial side of the equation: a year of institutional care can cost upwards of $75,000 - $100,000, an amount that is out of the reach of most American families.  

Couple these facts with the reality that America is aging – people are living longer, although many in old age suffer from chronic diseases, dementia, and bodies that are breaking down – and it becomes easy to see why non-medical home care has become such a thriving industry. 

Many families struggle to find caregivers who can give them the sense of comfort that their elderly loved ones are safe.  That’s why many non-medical home care agencies have prospered by offering what these families crave – care provided by competent and compassionate people who will make sure their parents remain safe and sound.

“We find that many family members feel guilty that they can’t care for mom or dad because they live far away or have so many work and family demands placed on them,” said the owner of one non-medical home care agency.  “In offering these non-medical services – getting an elderly parent out of bed, bathed, and fed, keeping the home clean, taking them to medical appointments, providing them with companionship – we are not only plugging into what has become a growing need, but we’re making a difference in the lives of many people.  Without quality home care services, families would either spend their time worrying their loved ones had fallen or were not eating properly, or would have no choice but to move them to a senior living community.” 

It is supply and demand that makes this such a fast growing field, but it’s also because the barrier to entry is relatively low in terms of cost and experience.  While a home care franchise can cost well into six figures, membership organizations offer the necessary training, materials and ongoing support at a fraction of the cost.  Ongoing operating costs are moderate and past experience is not required. 

“What I learned is that once you have a quality team of caregivers, you’re ready to market your services and generate income,” said the non-medical home care owner.  “When I first started, my initial audience was largely comprised of family members, friends and acquaintances, many of whom were at an age where they might need this kind of service for their parents.  Today, three years later, I find that many of my clients still have a connection to this initial group.” 

So as you can see, the market simply responds to the current demands of society. And the demographic numbers don't lie. The tempo for growth of the non medical home care business will continue at a rapid pace for many years to come.