Non-medical senior home care businesses help seniors prepare meals, provide companionship, help with housekeeping and maintain quality of life, and they are a popular start-up company option for budding entrepreneurs. Adding administrative duties to those tasks can be challenging for a one-person operation, so many business owners opt to buy into established franchises. However, Lawrence J. Gitman and Carl McDaniel note the disadvantages to franchising, such as “loss of control, cost of franchising, and restricted operating freedom.” It is possible to start a non-franchise senior home care business on your own.
Research the senior market in your area to make sure there are enough seniors looking for home care services. Read local trade journals, review reports and studies and consult U.S. Census data.
Plan your non-medical senior home care concept thoroughly. Determine the services you will offer. According to Entrepreneur Magazine, such services can include laundry, housekeeping, and meal preparation. Companionship is another important piece of this service, as older adults who are homebound or physically impaired may be lonely.
Identify funding sources for your business. Research state and federal grant programs that support senior home care services. Visit the federal government managed grant site Grants.gov, and check books that list grants. Submit your business plan to commercial banks for business loans if you can’t find grant programs to help fund your business.
Register your business with the appropriate authorities in your county and state and any other relevant jurisdictions. As a non-medical home care professional, you may not need a health professional’s license, but check with your state requirements to make sure. Most state laws forbid unlicensed home care professionals from administering medication.
Hire and interview staff to help with providing care. Attend job fairs and recruiting events to find candidates quickly. Perform background checks to protect the seniors you serve.
Purchase business liability insurance to protect you from claims against your home care staff or lawsuits filed for negligent care. Hire a lawyer on retainer.
Market your services to doctors, seniors and their children. Order business cards, and pass them out generously.
- senior image by Joann Cooper from Fotolia.com