How Dementia is Changing the Home Care Franchise Market
America’s aging population has led to big changes for the home care industry, including a wave of new home care franchise opportunities. But these opportunities can come with challenges. One of the biggest is tied to dementia. Cases of Alzheimer’s and other dementias are becoming increasingly common across the US, outpacing the growth of America’s elderly population.
This trend is worrying, especially to those of us who’ve seen the effects of Alzheimer’s and dementia up close. From an industry perspective, it also invites critical questions. What are the short-term and long-term implications of this change? How will home care franchise brands respond? And how will this change the market for home care franchise opportunities?
Alzheimer’s and Dementia on the Rise
At first impression, a rise in cases of Alzheimer’s and dementia isn’t especially surprising. Seniors are making up a larger and larger percentage of the American population. As the population grows older, cases of dementia should be expected to rise.
But when you look at the numbers, things get a little more unsettling. Figures released last year by the CDC showed that in the fifteen years between 1999 and 2014, the likelihood of dying from Alzheimer’s doubled for the average American. Meanwhile, a recent study by UCLA found that US cases of dementia will grow by roughly 150% between now and 2060. Over the same period, the number of seniors in the US is expected to grow by roughly 115%.
The discrepancy between these two figures indicates that as the home care market grows over the next few decades, Alzheimer’s care and dementia care services will take up a larger and larger share of that market. That will mean big changes to home care franchise brands, their franchisees, and new home care franchise opportunities.
Impact on Home Care Franchise Opportunities
While the data on dementia has surprised some in the home care industry, some franchise brands have been preparing for this development. At Visiting Angels®, we’ve developed dedicated service models for Alzheimer’s home care and non-Alzheimer’s home care for other types of dementia. These services are now offered by a number of existing Visiting Angels locations and are a key feature of our home care franchise opportunities.
A number of agency owners have also anticipated this development. A great example can be found at Visiting Angels Newton, operated by Barney and Eileen Freiberg-Dale. In a conversation with Visiting Angels last year, Barney explained why he believed that demand for dementia care would soon be on the rise. To prepare for this rise in demand, he and Eileen had invested in a full-fledged dementia care program — a program that they now believe to be the best of its kind in the Newton area.
Entrepreneurs entering the home care market over the next few years should consider taking a similarly forward-thinking approach to dementia care. The best home care franchise opportunities will be with brands that have dementia care programs already in place, including specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease.
Get detailed information on home care franchise opportunities available through Visiting Angels. Call 800-365-4189 or request information online to learn more.