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AGE & WISDOM

[ 0 ] Feb. 6, 2012 | SBO Editor

Leadership & skill helps home care biz stand out in the pack.

Almost eight million people in this country require some form of home health care, according to the National Association for Home Care.

Age Advantage Home Care Services co-founder and CEO Greg Archer remembers well a client whom he was able to convince to remain at home rather than signing himself and his wife into a nursing home following an injury. The notion was new.

“He was not aware of the options for staying home,” Archer recalled. “After a consultation he decided to remain independent at home using our services. He lived another 10 years, held his first baby at 91, became a published author at 95 and passed away gracefully in his own home at 98,” said the business owner.

Founded in 1998 by Daphne Archer, Age Advantage Home Care Services specializes in providing affordable, comprehensive, non-medical care to seniors, primarily in their homes, where they can remain comfortable and receive the quality care they deserve for as long as they wish. Age Advantage also provides its services in independent living communities, assisted living facilities, rehabilitation facilities and hospitals.

Stories such as the one related by Archer are becoming more commonplace these days, as the trend for older adults has changed from community care to independent living. Likewise, the non-medical home care industry has been enjoying good news of its own. It’s considered the fastest-growing segment of health care in America.

The husband-wife team of Greg and Daphne Archer began franchising Age Advantage in 2006 after the business had become one of the premier home care services in the San Diego area. With locations in California (4), Florida (2) and Ohio (1), the Archers expect to have 100 offices open nationwide by the end of 2015.

The increasing need for non-medical home care is attracting plenty of attention.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, “This rapid growth of the older population may present challenges in the next two decades,” said Victoria Velkoff, assistant chief for estimates and projections for the Bureau’s Population Division. “It’s noteworthy that those 85 and older — who often require additional caregiving and support — would increase from about 14 percent of the older population today to 21 percent in 2050.”

Several studies have found that the overwhelming majority of seniors – 89 percent, according to an AARP survey, for example – want to age in their own homes for as long as possible.

“There is no denying that the need for home care providers will increase over the next 20 years as baby boomers begin to age,” said Greg Archer. “Most people prefer to age and even die in their own homes. We allow that process to happen with dignity and respect.”

The Age Advantage business model is among the most qualified in the senior care sector with its experience and focus on marketing strategies, service demands, employee hiring and retention, supervision and dependability—all key factors for success in the industry.

While the industry remains highly fragmented, Age Advantage has the operating system in place to become the industry’s brand leader in the coming years. Though the market boasts many upstart companies, Age Advantage has 13 years of success behind its name.

“I think the biggest thing that separates us from others in the industry is that we have truly figured out how all the different pieces fit together,” Greg Archer said. “Many other companies have some – but not all – of the pieces of a comprehensive plan for quality care.”

With a modest estimated initial investment ranging from $61,480 to $109,950, an Age Advantage franchise can be launched with as few as two employees, not including caregivers. Archer said the concept represents a strong investment opportunity for couples and/or other family partnerships.

While the return on investment has outstanding potential, Greg Archer said it is important for Age Advantage franchisees to look beyond the bottom line.

“In the right market, with the right sales team, the potential ROI is huge in comparison to the initial investment,” Archer said. “But our franchisees should have the desire to make a difference in other people’s lives. It’s the little things that make all the difference. Someone in it only for the money will not do the little extras that truly make them shine.”

Providing personalized one-on-one care for loved ones is an affordable option for many seniors when compared to the costs associated with a retirement community. The average annual cost of one nursing home resident is $69,715, according to the MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home & Assisted Living Costs. The average annual cost of one assisted-living facility resident is $36,372.

Seniors who want to remain in their homes can often do so cost-effectively with a few hours of care a week. For example, 20 hours of companionship home care a week costs approximately $1,500 a month or an average annual cost of $18,000. Age Advantage costs vary by market, ranging from $16 to $24 an hour, averaging $19.

For more info contact the El Cajon, CA franchise by phone at 877.433.0141 or visit www.ageadvantage.com.

SERVICES PROVIDED BY AGE ADVANTAGE

Age Advantage Home Care Services specializes in meeting the needs of older adults by providing affordable, comprehensive, non-medical care in the comforts of home. Services may include:

Meals, medication reminders, light housekeeping, laundry. Escort to doctor’s appointments/beauty salon, errands, shopping. Minimal safety supervision to full-care assistance.

From 4 to 24 hours per day, 2 to 7 days a week care is available.

The husband-wife team of Greg and Daphne Archer began franchising Age Advantage in 2006 after the business had become one of the premier home care services in the San Diego area. The biz is booming.


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Category: Magazine, Small Business Opportunities, Small Business Opportunities May 2012