Americans are getting older, faster and in large numbers. Did you know that today there are about 50 million people aged 65+ in the U.S.? This number is expected to grow to 74 million by 2030. Thanks to better diets, increased exercise and modern medical care, people are living longer than ever before. A person born in the U.S. in 1900 would typically not live to age 55. Someone born in the U.S. today can expect to live into their late 70’s or 80’s. Many of us know people who are living happily into their hundreds. The result of this shift is going to be a very large wave of seniors who could benefit from services. This “wave” has been referred to as a Silver Tsunami, and it will have a profound impact on almost every business.
Forward thinking entrepreneurs recognize this opportunity and rank senior care above most other industries.
Oxford Economics refers to the impending financial impact of the growing senior population as the “Longevity Economy.” It estimates that economic activity related to serving the needs of Americans over 50 will account for more than half of U.S. GDP by 2032. For entrepreneurs this shift means that elder care-focused businesses will see a huge boom in activity. While the volume of older Americans may be increasing, it is the insight provided by several well-known studies that clearly demonstrates the magnitude of the opportunity for the senior care industry now:
- The U.S. Census Bureau projects that the number of seniors needing daily assistance will increase from 19.4 million in 2015 to 30 million in 2030
- Almost 90% of Seniors want to stay in their own home as they age, and not move into an institution
- Families are increasingly not prepared to be caregivers, according to The Value of Home Care, HCAOA and Global Coalition on Aging, 2016
- Adult children of the elderly live an average of 280 miles away.
- The ratio of family members to those aged 80+ is decreasing, from 7:1 to 3:1
Companies like Senior Helpers are providing entrepreneurs the opportunity to leverage these findings and build successful businesses in several different ways.
In-Home Care. An in-home care service allows seniors to remain at home as they desire. The services often relieve the burden felt by family members who are frequently stretched thin at work or who live too far away to assist with daily needs.
New Adult Day Care Concept. The U.S. Government reports that more than 286,0000 seniors utilized services on a daily basis across 4,800 adult day services centers in the U.S. A large percentage of these participants report feelings of depression and loneliness.
Senior Helpers recently announced an exciting new fresh and innovative alternative for seniors who are currently attending, or planning to attend, an adult day care. Senior Helpers Town Square® is an all-new franchise concept that provides a one-of-kind adult day care experience. Each Senior Helpers Town Square® replicates a 1950s town and includes 14 individual storefronts that offer interactive activities to the participants. This approach is based on a concept called Reminiscence Therapy which uses tangible prompts from the past. Studies have shown that this can improve mood, improve sleep quality and reduce agitation among those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Senior Helpers Town Square® is designed beneficial to a broad audience of adults.
Senior Care provides a rare opportunity for savvy entrepreneurs to ride the wave of opportunity while simultaneously having a positive social impact.
Many people find themselves working long hours to earn a living, and at the end of the day their efforts go unnoticed or underappreciated. That is not the case with senior care. Both of the options mentioned above provide investors the opportunity to work at the rare intersection of “doing well” and “doing good”.
Clients and their family members frequently express their thanks and gratitude, and franchise owners can achieve financial independence while impacting their community in a very positive way. This rewarding combination doesn’t come along often in business today.
If you are considering building a business, you have probably looked at the several different franchise options. Please do your homework and remember that not all businesses are created equal. Knowing where we are, and where we are going, I recommend considering the senior care industry. It offers the rare opportunity to balance building a real business that generates wealth with simultaneously having a positive social impact.
Chuck Sullivan is Chief Marketing Officer at Senior Helpers, the premier provider of in-home senior care in the U.S. delivered through more than 310 franchised businesses. He is a seasoned marketing executive with more than two decades of experience in senior leadership roles at Hilton Worldwide, K12 Inc., Fiat Chrysler and Ford Motor Company.