Making the decision to open a personal care home in Texas is a big responsibility. However, it can also be rewarding as the work involves helping others who need physical and emotional care in their later years. Opening such a business out of your home requires a specific set of skills, licensing and approvals from the state of Texas, and plenty of avenues for marketing and advertising. Once all these things are in place, you can enjoy your new business of caring for others' loved ones, all in the comfort of your own home.
How to Open a Personal Care Home in Texas
Evaluate why you want to start a personal care home. The business involves being responsible for the elderly residents round the clock, including meals, laundry, medical appointments and activities. Visit some personal care homes in your region of Texas to determine if this is something for which you have the passion. Schedule meetings to speak with individuals already in the field to find out the positive and negative aspects of such a responsibility, as well as receive any advice for starting your own personal care home.
Visit your local state agencies, including the Residential Construction Commission and the Department of Aging and Disability Services. In Texas, you may dial 211 on your telephone to connect to someone who can direct you to the appropriate department or visit their websites listed below. When contacting state agencies, ask for a mailed copy of any information pertaining to you, as well as how to contact the local zoning board to find out the requirements for getting your home ready for such an organization. Inquire about fees, licensing and educational requirements. Most regions of Texas require you, or someone on the premises, to be a registered nurse or have other comparable medical or caretaking experience.
Write out your policies and procedures, as well as a price breakdown. Will you charge separately for nursing services or include it in one flat monthly rate? This will help in the development of your business if you have different pricing structure depending upon the required amount of care per individual. Contact your homeowners’ insurance to ensure your home is able to host elderly, full-time residents and that all areas are handicapped accessible. This includes wide enough doorways for wheelchairs, bars installed in the shower and possibly ramps leading outdoors. If you need advice on liability insurance, and what modifications are required, visit the Texas Department of Insurance: Long Term Care Resources at 1-800-252-3439 or 463-6515 in Austin.
Make a budget. Opening the personal care business in your current home is simpler than opening one in a new home purchased for this endeavor. When purchasing a new home for your business, you must have at least six months worth of payments in savings should something go wrong financially. Visit other facilities similar to yours to see what the going rates are for residents and compare this to your proposed fee structure. Also, ask the owners of these businesses about any unexpected charges they have encountered through the years.
File all of your paperwork with the state of Texas. Wait to submit your paperwork until your house is in complete accordance with all guidelines. This saves you time and expense. Market your personal home care business on websites such as Home Care for Seniors, which provides fully licensed homecare options in Texas. Facilities in the Dallas region should consider listing on the Dallas Texas Assisted Living Directory.
Observe other personal care homes whenever you can. This will help you get ideas for your own business, while also providing you a realistic view of what to expect when first starting out.
The best advertising you'll get is word of mouth - encourage your first residents' families to share their good experience with others.
Realize that a personal care home is a tremendous amount of work. You will be responsible for the well-being of another round the clock. Make sure you are properly trained and emotionally prepared for the challenging, yet rewarding, opportunity.
- nursing duties image by Pix by Marti from Fotolia.com