How to Start a Unique Business Working With the Elderly

by Vanessa Cross; Updated September 26, 2017
Seniors require an assortment of products and services to meet changing needs.

The U.S. senior population is living longer and has come to represent the fastest growing age group in America. By 2025, the number of seniors 75 or older is projected to increase 70 percent, according to a 2008 Senior Care Marketer report. By 2030, one in five Americans will be over the age of 65, representing 70 million Americans. As baby boomers retire in greater numbers, the senior care industry is anticipated to experience growing demand for an assortment of products and services for this target market.

Step 1

Identify senior care business trends. There are a growing number of advertisements for senior fitness programs, elder estate planning, senior transportation services, food products tailored to the senior diet, electronic alert devices and other elder gadgets. The proliferation of specialty services and products indicates that entrepreneurs take the greying American market serious. Explore business ideas by looking at market research such as industry reports that indicate specific demands. Also consider trends you see in your local market.

Step 2

Provide senior services. For example, many seniors would appreciate help doing their shopping. And, as baby boomers increasingly provide home care for their elderly parents, the demand for caregiver support services will likely also grow. A family caregiver might benefit from a reliable place for short-term hourly or weekend care for an elderly family member.

Step 3

Develop or supply products to help seniors maintain independence and quality of life standards. This includes assistive devices such as mobility and lift products, body care and support products and home safety products. The wide assortment of merchandise in the senior market makes distributing or retailing senior products a viable business idea. Additionally, the opportunity to shop online appeals to many seniors, making an e-commerce venture worth exploring.

Step 4

Write a business plan. You will need a business plan whether you are starting a service- or product-based business. A startup business plan helps you to develop your business goals, apply the market research that makes the business idea viable and identify the specific human and financial capital required to get the business off the ground. The U.S. Small Business Administration provides entrepreneurs with business plan templates that can help you get started with "explaining the who, what, when, where, how and why" that turns your business idea into a viable business plan.

Resources

  • "Start Your Own Senior Services Business"; Charlene Davis; 2010
  • "How to Start a Home-Based Senior Care Business"; James Ferry; 2010
  • "Senior Living Communities"; Benjamin W. Pearce; 2007

About the Author

Vanessa Cross has practiced law in Tennessee and lectured as an adjunct professor on law and business topics. She has also contributed as a business writer to news publications, including the "Chicago Tribune," and published in peer-reviewed academic journals. Cross holds a B.A. in journalism, a Juris Doctor and an LL.M. in international business law.

Photo Credits

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