How to Open a Senior Care Business in Canada

Senior care businesses are among the fastest growing businesses in Canada. It's estimated that by 2030 there willl be 40 retirees for every 100 workers in the country, as compared to about 21 now. Thought it's a burgeoning market, you need to be aware of the specific challenges that come with this market and your specific locale. Even if you opt for a franchise, you still need to do your due diligence.

Home in on the services you'd like to offer. As a senior care business, services can vary greatly. One leading Canadian provider offers complex home health care for those with Alzheimer's or quadriplegics, while another is a registered foot care provider. Diverse service offerings can make you a more attractive organization, but it also comes with increased cost to hire certified or better qualified employees or to provide more substantial training.

Get your finances in order. Go to the Canadian Business Services website, a government organization (see Resources below). You can search this site by the province where your business will be located for information on programs to help offset the cost of your business. They also provide information on how to create a business plan.

Consider a franchise. Some of these operations are turn-key, which means they basically give you a working model, which is then replicated in your franchise location. Just because resources are handed to you doesn't mean you should overlook due diligence. You need to know what each operation includes, where your responsibilities and resources end and where those of the parent company begin.

Hone in on locally-based or global franchises. Some companies, such as the Omaha-based Home Instead Senior Care, have a truly global presence, but there are also more locally-based companies such as Nurse Next Door and For Seniors Only. Weigh the options that work best for you, including the depth of training counsel, technical support and educational opportunities afforded for new staff members through your company.

Become affiliated with a trade or industry association, such as a locally-based organization, like the Ontario Home Care Association (OHCA), the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses or the Canadian Academy of Senior Advisors (CASA).


About the Author

Since 2000 reporting and writing has taken Michelle Leach to Michigan, Nebraska, Washington, D.C., Chicago, London and Sydney, Australia. Her stories have appeared in various media outlets including NBC's "The Today Show," Reuters, Chicagoland dailies and network affiliates across the United States. Leach has a master's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and a bachelor's degree in journalism/politics from Lake Forest College.