Developing Your Agency’s Model of Home Care
When you start a home care agency, it’s important you have a well-articulated vision of care.
Unfortunately, many agencies open without developing a unique model of care for their market. These agencies assume home care works more or less the same from client to client and market to market. As a result, they see little value in creating a unique model of care for their agency.
Other agencies understand home care is a much more complex business, requiring different approaches to care from one market to another and one client to the next.
Rather than applying generic solutions to their businesses, these agencies develop their own care approach. They think carefully about:
For anyone starting an agency—or getting ready to purchase a home care franchise—this is an important stand. But how are new agencies supposed to develop a unique model of care?
At Visiting Angels®, we suggest going the route used by other successful agencies. Know your target clients and frame care around their preferences and needs.
Creating a Client-Centric Model of Care
Developing a workable model of care for your agency starts with understanding your market. Every care agency should have a firm grasp of what makes their local market unique, which types of clients you want to target, and what they’re looking for in a caregiving service.
Below are some factors you’ll want to consider when developing your model of care.
Providing care in dense, urban areas is much different than caregiving in rural communities where clients are separated by vast distances. It not only defines how caregivers get to and from client visits but also how clients:
live out their day-to-day lives
visit friends and family easily or not
interact with their community
Economic factors affect care in a number of ways. Most obviously, it dictates how much clients can afford to pay for home care. This, in turn, dictates the length of a typical care visit, the types of specialty services you can provide, and the rates you can afford to pay your staff. At the same time, it also has a major influence over your clients’ living situations, the lifestyles they wish to maintain, and the additional support services available to them.
Physical, cognitive, and emotional health are all important parts of caregiving. They’re also the result of environmental and lifestyle factors. Because of this, many areas see uncommonly high rates of certain conditions and lower rates of others. Knowing which conditions are most prevalent among your target market will prove invaluable when developing a unique model of care.
Home care agencies work closely with clients’ families. So as you develop a model of care for your agency, you’ll need to keep families in mind. This starts with understanding the most common family situations faced by your clients. Do most of them live close to immediate family, or is it common for them to be separated by long distances? If family members are nearby, what are their lifestyles generally like? Do they have time to care for their loved one? Does their schedule make caregiving difficult?
All of these factors will be important as you develop your model of care.
Want to own a home care agency? Learn more about Visiting Angels franchise opportunities by calling 800-365-4189 or submitting an online request.