Skilled, residential care is simply unattainable for the majority of Americans due to the increasing costs and demand. With the baby boomer generation entering their later years, the senior care market is expanding to meet the needs of this demographic which accounts for nearly 20% of the population.
While residential care costs are certainly a reason for trying to age-in-place as long as possible, being in one’s own home or with family is the preferable option for seniors. Therefore, the care industry is expecting to see an increase in the number of adult day care centers and home care providers in the U.S.
These services support older people’s health, social, and daily living needs while they are still capable of living fully independently or with the help of a family caregiver.
Adult Day Services typically provide respite during the day for family caregivers who may be working during the day or simply need a break to take care of themselves.
They may provide an activity program, transportation, meals, socialization, some level of health care, and general wellbeing support. Centers usually operate weekly during working hours, but some centers provide care in evenings or on weekends.
Are you interested in being a part of this growth? If you are ready to take advantage of the timely opportunity to start an Adult Day Care, here are a few important factors to consider:
To franchise or not to franchise?
If this isn’t your first entrepreneurial rodeo and you know what you’re doing or have experience in the care industry; that’s great. However, if you are pursuing your first business venture, it might be worth going the franchise route.
Franchising can alleviate some of the complicated startup process and help you by already having established business practices, standards of care, reputable marketing, and proven success.
Having a franchisor relieves some pressure by providing training and guidance in all aspects of starting the business.
What model of adult day care will you provide?
There are three main service types for adult day care providers.
Social Care Model
The focus is on enriching the lives of older adults through community building. This model typically has a daily activity program designed to provide social engagement and build on an individual’s skills, interests, and abilities. Seniors may engage in gentle fitness classes like Thai Chi, water aerobics or chair exercises.
Communities share nutritious meals and snacks together, create various hobby clubs, enjoy musical entertainment, local outings, etc. Other services offered might include transportation to and from the center, support groups for family caregivers, and basic health screenings.
Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) shares aspects of the social care model but they are staffed with a nurse and other health professionals. ADHCs are good options for seniors that require a slightly higher level of care support and supervision due to an ongoing social, physical, or mental health condition.
They may offer speech, physical, and occupational therapies to guests and distribute medication during the day.
Dementia Memory Care
Dementia comes with a unique set of challenges. It is very important that those who provide care to people with dementia are equipped with specific training and skills.
Dementia day care allows seniors with cognitive impairments to participate in a daily routine that ensures their safety and programming that is designed to cater to their abilities.
How will you set yourself apart from the competition?
Be sure to run a thorough competitive analysis in your area. Where are the service holes? Are there far more social care than medical care models in your area? Are there any services providing weekend care sessions? Is there only one day care with transportation services?
Do any centers advertise being LGBTQ-friendly? Many care communities are beginning to make the switch to digital care planning and recording. StoriiCare is an adult day care software that provides a modern, user-friendly app for planning and tracking activity participation and carrying out all care tasks digitally.
They also have a family-designated app so caregivers can receive live-notifications and contribute to their loved one’s personal profile.
What grants can you apply for?
Nonprofits and branches of government offer grants for adult day services, as they meet an important need in communities. These funds can help you finance your business.
You can search for food service grants, construction grants, transportation grants, Administration on Aging Grants, Social Services Block Grants, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Grants, and Department of Veterans Affairs Grants.