The elderly are the new middle age. I joke, but the elderly population is growing by the year, and it is expected to increase only exponentially for the next decade. Simply stated, there will be, and already is, a whole lot of old people. Like the general course of life, it is an inescapable reality that will continue as long as people insist on being alive. Of course, this brings forward a depressing reality just as much as a business opportunity. As the demand of elderly care increases, the stock of a business involved in elder care will only go up appropriately.
Elderly care has two main branches. You can go the route of an elderly care home. These retirement homes take in the elderly, usually in a situation where the family cannot care for the family member. They have a team of caregivers, and usually have relatively strict rules and schedules. They all offer something a little different, but the idea is to present a home where the elderly can converse and interact with each other and have their minds stimulated; while also providing them the most appropriate health care and care giving available. This environment is meant to foster healthiness and camaraderie, yet many elderly find the idea repulsive. This is not all that inappropriate. Retirement community’s battle stereotypes and the very idea can easily be seen as “herding” or collecting the elderly until they pass away. It is a troubling social issue, but the reality is that retirement homes become alternatives to full home care for the elderly.
But in other circumstances, home care is entirely viable. In this environment, the elderly lives in their own home, and individuals come to them. Varying on the situation, an elderly individual may have one, two, even three caregivers. They do not always stay all the time, though they sometimes do. They do not always have consistent schedules, though sometimes they do. They may stipulate rules, interact with the elderly on a social level, or simply be there in case of emergency. The idea is to offer help when needed in the comfort of the elderly own home. The retirement community may hire employees to visit homes and take care of the elderly at a remote location. You also can explore the option of freelancing your care giving skills. Regardless, this possibility is in a better light than a retirement home.
As a business oriented individual, the idea of elder care may spark intrigue and opportunity. Starting an elderly care business is more than finding “old people.” Though you may go in with that approach, you are better off reaching out and networking with retirement homes. Franchises offer the ability for you to earn your credentials and assist with the elderly at remote locations. This sounds ideal, but you are not designing yourself to be in a position of employment. As well, this is costly and timely. You remain an employee of the franchise home and are not always given the full freedom of your own skill and craft.
As a self motivator, you are looking for your own business. This is where elderly care has unique potential. With a small budget, you won’t own your own franchise or retirement home anytime soon. But by being alive and interested, you are in a position to offer the conventional elder care that requires no formal training, licensees, or paperwork.
When beginning in the field, it is suggested you communicate with retirement homes and families. A home will want you to get networked and begin paying them, but do not fall victim to extraneous expenses. All you need is one elderly to begin your official business, and with proper care, you will find yourself requested in multiple locations.
Use the free sources of the Internet to extend yourself locally. By using Craigslist and Google Jobs, you can post yourself as available. Elder care is a momentous task, and you have to be committed to the task. Flaking out is inappropriate and unprofessional. If the task seems difficult, remember to follow through. The hump may occur where you have a hard time finding someone compatible with you. Either lower your standards or suggest that perhaps elderly care IS difficult as it sounds.
You need to be on time and work hard. You need to follow through with promises and be as patient as you are as a parent (if you aren’t, then use your childhood days as reference). Patience is key to success. Never underestimate this quality.
Proper elderly care is less about medical attention, and you cannot compete with that in the early stages. But you have something you can offer that is special. The fact that you put yourself in this world, and are motivated to hopefully remain, is enough to give you value as an elderly caregiver. People are craving for valuable help. You do not need to a formal trainer to take care of the elderly. Use your basic though respectable skills to put yourself in a position to grow. After that, you are more than able to expand as your revenue grows. Geriatric Management and running a retirement home typically requires a formal degree. Obtaining that degree can be a side task as you venture through the ranks of elderly care. There are services that help the elderly relocate, as well as jobs that allocate and provide health care services.
These are all options you can explore as an elderly caregiver and business owner. Have a plan for the future, but realize that it takes those beginning steps to be relevant on a higher level. Use social media as your source, and network with communities to meet the elderly that will allow you to grow the business and expand your horizons.