Owning a Home Care Franchise in the Age of COVID-19
As we have seen over the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has placed incredible demands on the United States healthcare system. Typical hospital services have been reduced, surgeries for elective purposes have been canceled, and many community-based senior resources have been shut down.
COVID-19 has hit seniors particularly hard, especially those with comorbidities like COPD, diabetes, and asthma. In the past, many seniors relied on in-patient nursing home care to address such issues.
However, there is a newfound awareness of how swiftly transmittable diseases spread through nursing homes. We have all heard the heart wrenching stories of fatalities caused by COVID-19 in nursing homes. Concerns over nursing home safety have caused a huge surge in demand for compassionate care inside the home rather than in a facility.
According to the CDC, “the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus.” The CDC also says that “older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19”.
This quote highlights the importance of senior care franchises like Always Best Care, which specialize in providing non-medical and skilled care at home rather than in a communal setting. As we are learning, these services are a much safer option than the facility-based alternative.
As nursing home facilities continue to be a focus of concern, many seniors and their adult children are turning to home care in all its forms over in-patient institutions. This has created a boom in the homecare market and, in turn, created new opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to get into the home care franchise industry.
The bottom line? Owning a home care franchise in the age of COVID-19 is a lucrative endeavor and is often a safer, preferred choice for seniors.
Here are a few reasons why the shift from nursing homes to in-home care can create new business opportunities:
Staying Home is Safer for Seniors
Since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in the U.S., the vulnerabilities of nursing homes and facilities have been exposed. According to the World Economic Forum, around 40% of deaths caused by COVID-19 took place in nursing homes. In Europe, 50% of deaths occurred at such facilities. Canada has reported percentages as high as 80%.
These concerning statistics have not gone unnoticed by seniors and their adult children. Many scared family members are pulling their loved ones out of nursing homes in favor of in-home care alternatives. Those that hadn’t considered home care before quickly seeing its value from both a safety and care perspective.
When you take into account the fact that most seniors prefer to receive care at home as they age, there is much more demand for in-home care than ever before.
Preferred Before the Pandemic
In-home care was the preferred care model for seniors in the United States, even before the pandemic hit. In 2007, a study found that 26% of seniors claim their top fear was losing independence. That percentage was followed by 13% of seniors stating that their top fear was moving into a nursing home. The same survey found that 89% of seniors prefer to continue living at home as they age.
Those stats make sense – aging at home gives seniors the chance to have a say in how they live their daily life. While structure in the house is a good thing, having to cater to the stringent policies and procedures in a nursing home can be depressing for such an independent generation. The reality is that seniors are happier at home, and it has been that way long before COVID-19 came on the scene.
Now that nursing home health concerns are at an all-time high, the demand for quality home care services is skyrocketing. This demand has opened up opportunities for new franchisees to give seniors in their communities a safer alternative to nursing home care.
In-Home Care is Always Needed
Perhaps more than ever before, we are seeing that senior home care is an essential service, even during a pandemic. Whether it be in times of economic recession or boom, quality home care services are still needed by seniors. This makes home care more of a necessity than a luxury.
While businesses like restaurants have had to make drastic changes to their service and even close up shop, the number of new Always Best Care franchisees is growing.
There are more opportunities than ever to build a business, create jobs, and most importantly, serve seniors within your community.
Lower Cost, Higher Quality Than Nursing Homes
Besides being safer for seniors, home care services have been found to be less expensive than institutional care. A research study conducted in 2019 found that after hospitalization, home care was linked to an average savings of $4,514 over nursing home care in the 60 days after a hospital visit.
An average nursing home can cost anywhere from $75,000 to $90,000 per year, while home care is substantially less for clients on average.
Why would a senior or their family caregiver choose to pay more for care at a facility that is more dangerous when a better alternative exists?
Non-medical home care is also linked to a higher quality of care overall. Unlike nursing homes, where seniors usually outnumber aides, seniors do not have to “wait their turn” for attention when they use in-home care. The focus of an Always Best Care caregiver will always be on the senior.
Seniors and adult children will almost always prefer this kind of attention over what they will receive at a nursing home facility.
When you consider safety, cost, and quality of care, more and more elderly citizens will opt for in-home care in 2021 and beyond.
Are you ready to build your future in the home care industry? The time to make a difference is now! Learn more about franchising with Always Best Care and get started on your journey to success by downloading our FREE E-Book today!