Taking care of a disabled or elderly family member can be a drain on a family, even if there are no immediate medical issues. After weighing various options for home care, families are learning that one of the best options is hiring someone to live with their elderly or impaired family member or to visit them from time to time. Duties can be vast and opportunities abundant. Although many seniors feel like they still have their independence, they may need home care assistants to handle their laundry, clean their homes, prepare their meals and read the newspaper to them if they have lost their sight.
Non-Medical Home Assistant Start-Up Guide
Research the customer demographics in your area to determine what types of people need non-medical assistance. Create a questionnaire. Survey various people at hospitals and doctors' offices. Interview doctors and nurses. Clarify your service offerings in an action plan. Choose a name for the business
Get funding to start the business. Check for state or federal programs that offer grants for home assistance programs. Create a business plan. Hire help from a professional business-plan writer. Apply for a business loan from a bank.
Obtain a business license and any necessary permits. In the book, “Start Your Own Senior Services Business,” Charlene Davis writes: “Some states require formal certification and training for these individuals, while others do not. For states where there is no mandatory certification, aides can voluntarily apply for a national certification from the National Association for Home Care (NAHC).”
Share rental space with a medical doctor or therapist to reduce costs on renting an office. Create an office environment at home if you don’t want to incur office-space expenses.
Purchase a reliable car to get you from appointment to appointment. You can also create an office in your car. Take along a friend who knows cars to help negotiate a deal with the car salesman.
Purchase payroll software and medical billing software. Purchase business liability insurance. Contact state-licensed insurers.
Hire help when your client roster grows beyond your own abilities. Recruit non-medical home assistance professionals. Post “help wanted” listings in print and online classifieds. Interview top candidates. Perform background checks through an online service such as Pre-Employ.
Design a marketing campaign to get the name of your business out there. Create flyers to pass out in the community. Write articles for community newsletters. Order a sleeve of business cards. Whenever you meet potential clients, leave one of your business cards with them.
Use the word-of-mouth strategy through doctors and health professionals to advertise your business. In the book, “Community Resources for Older Adults,” Robbyn R. Wacker and Karen A. Roberto write: “Most older adults rely on family members, particularly their spouse, daughters, and daughters-in-law, for daily support and assistance. When family members are not available or unable to provide care, reliance on formal home services increases.”
- Start Your Own Senior Services Business: Adult Day Care, Relocation Services; Charlene Davis; 2010
- Community Resources for Older Adults: Programs and Services in an Era of Change; Robbyn R. Wacker, Karen A. Roberto; 2007
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