Aging U.S. population is driving growth in elderly care franchising

Care-giving for baby-boomers is a rapidly growing concern and quickly escalating need in this country. In the next two decades, there will be more than 70 million people over the age of 65. Furthermore, the average life expectancy has increased 15 years since the 1930's. Nearly one out of every four U.S. households provides care to a relative or friend aged 50 or older and about 15 percent of adults care for a seriously ill or disabled family member. In hard numbers, about 13 million people are spouses or adult children of disabled older people and have the potential responsibility for their care.

Enter adult and franchises.

These franchises typically offer a variety of non-medical home care and companionship services and include things like shopping, light housekeeping, errands, reminders, personal care and Alzheimer's care. And there are a number of them in operation including Home Instead Senior Care, Sarah Care, Adult Day Services, Inc., AmeriCare Alliance, Right At Home, Common Sense Services for Seniors, CareMinders, and Visiting Angels.

"More than 12.8 million people around the country rely upon care from others, and in a recent study 80 percent of this group said that they would prefer to remain in their own homes," says Debbie Reis, president of AmeriCare Alliance. "We provide a unique service that maintains the dignity and respect for those who need extra help while remaining in the comfort of their own home surrounded by their personal effects and their own community."

After struggling to find a care provider for her ailing mother four years ago, Reis, her husband and another business associate founded AmeriCare Alliance in 2003. Their goal was to offer a unique non-medical home health-care service to meet the growing requirements of this aging group. The company provides customers with a choice of licensed, pre-screened, personally selected caregivers who work with individuals to create a unique customized care plan that fits the clients' needs.

Former hospital administrator Allen Hager, founded Right at Home in 1995 and has been franchising since 2000. Hager concurs that as the baby-boomer generation passes age 60, an increasing number of people are faced with the challenges of caring for their aging parents, while trying to balance the responsibilities of their own busy lives. In fact, research indicates that 65 percent of family members who worked while caring for an aging parent experienced conflict with their jobs, including tardiness, lost hours or income, or sacrificing of time. Adult care franchises can address that challenge by creating options for families and aging family members.

"Studies overwhelmingly show that seniors prefer the comfort, and of their own home," says Hager. "But with today's two-income families and busy lifestyles, time for managing your loved one's ongoing senior care isn't always an option. Individuals who are part of the 'sandwich generation' are juggling the responsibilities of caring for both their children and their parents." He says his company provides peace of mind to both their clients and their families by offering comprehensive choices of companion, homemaker, and other personal care services.

Caring for the growing elderly population is going to be an important service in the coming decade. These franchises can provide that care and for loved ones, while keeping them happy and healthy during their golden years.

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