Senior Care Is the Next Big Opportunity for Ethical and Sustainable Business

By Mariliana Fotopoulou Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Across the globe, the fastest-growing age group is the over-65s. It is estimated that by 2050, one in six people or 16% of the population will fall into this age group, and in Europe and North America, it will be one in four.

Part of this aging population incorporates baby boomers who are either already retired or approaching retirement age. Within the next ten years, all baby boomers will be over 65, and they are the most affluent generation. Moreover, many people of this generation still have their parents around who also need care.

Most senior citizens today want to retain their independence for as long as possible. They prefer staying in their home rather than moving into a retirement community or care facility. The real estate market has also reflected this trend where seniors prefer to downscale by moving into a smaller home or adjusting their existing home to accommodate their aging needs.

Sense of Abandonment

As people age, their needs change. Initially, most are still mobile, lead an active social life, go to the shops, and visit friends and family. Once they start having problems with their mobility or health, they start to feel lonely and often feel that they have been forgotten or abandoned.

Their children and grandchildren are busy and cannot pop in to see them as often as possible. Friends whom they used to rely on for their company have either passed away or are also not as mobile anymore.

Families worry their parents are lonely, may not be taking proper care of themselves, or are perhaps forgetting to take their medications. This is where the need arises for someone to pop in to see their needs are taken care of, keep them company, and make sure that everything is okay.

The Pandemic Highlights the Vulnerability of Seniors

COVID-19 wreaked havoc with the lives of senior citizens across the globe. Older people were warned to stay indoors during this pandemic as they were identified as the most vulnerable group. Concerns about the psychological effects of the coronavirus on senior citizens have increased.

Long before Bill de Blasio, the Mayor of New York, called on citizens to check on their elderly neighbors, caring residents had already begun doing so. Residents of buildings that knew about elderly neighbors with mobility issues or health problems rallied to help by offering to collect essentials for them. They also made a point of popping in regularly to ensure they were okay.

Even though attendees to various activities for the aged dwindled in New York, some senior citizens took the appropriate precautionary measures, visited their local recreation centers and yoga classes, and argued that life must continue, albeit with greater care.

Senior Care Is the New Bustling Industry

The consumer behavior of the aging population has given rise to a business opportunity in the form of home care. This is an industry especially suited to people wanting to start their own business, but who also care about making a difference in the lives of others.

The industry is all about helping seniors adjust to living at home by covering their daily needs with care and respect. Depending on the type of home care provided, the services offered could be non-medical, including meal preparations, personal hygiene, and memory care support. Additionally, some home care providers offer skilled nursing and live-in caregivers. Most of these services don’t require the business owner to have a background in health care.

What Opportunities Does the Senior Care Industry Offer?

Franchising is one of the best ways to enter the senior care industry. According to IBISWorld, the average industry growth over the last five years has been 10.3% annually. These profitable franchises offer a higher than average income compared to other franchises and offer an ethical business opportunity.

Some of the franchises offer full-time care, while others provide part-time care. The initial investments for most of these franchises are relatively low, they entail a franchise fee and have ongoing royalties.

Depending on the franchise, the initial investment can be anything from as low as $40,000 to over one million dollars. Still, these figures depend on the franchise the entrepreneur is interested in. Franchisees may need to rent office space and need office equipment. On an initial investment of $100,000, a franchisee can expect to have average profits of close to $100,000 a year.

Even though no medical training is needed for franchisees, they need to have a compassionate and organized nature to provide the ultimate care for senior citizens. The services offered by the various franchises vary, and many provide ongoing training, especially if they entail more specialized medical treatments and services.

These services are not only in great demand, but they offer franchise owners the opportunity to provide community services, while also fulfilling their entrepreneurial desires in a share of the $5 billion senior care market.

About the Author

Mariliana Fotopoulou

Mariliana has an MSC in consumer analytics and business strategy. She has a special interest in fast-moving industries and big data.

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