The senior service industry is booming, as the number of seniors grows and more seniors choose to remain at home, or”age-in-place” as long as possible. The senior population is growing twice as fast as the general population, as the baby boomers move into their golden years. Right now, almost 15 percent of Americans are over the age of 65, and that number will swell to 20 percent by 2020.
There has never been a better time to start a rewarding and profitable senior service business, whether part-time or full-time. The desire of seniors to age in place and live independently in their own homes without sacrificing comfort, safety and freedom is becoming big business, especially for entrepreneurs who can help seniors achieve those goals.
It takes a special kind of person to succeed with a senior service business. It’s more than simply starting a business. It requires a genuine desire to improve the lives of others and make a difference in the lives of seniors. To be successful, you should be a caring, compassionate individual. You will need to be encouraging and a good listener when dealing with seniors who are not as capable as they once were.
Working with seniors who are facing physical challenges, such as loss of strength, balance or memory requires an extra dose of patience and understanding. Dealing with these challenges requires not only a big heart, but often a thick skin as well.
Starting a senior service business does not usually require special skills, training or previous experience, but it does require enthusiasm, commitment and a “can-do” attitude. A willingness to learn and grow is essential to your client’s well-being.
If you are a caring person who wants to make a living and make a difference in other’s lives, here are four of the best businesses to consider. None require franchise fees or a large financial investment, and all can be home-based.
Senior Home Care.
Non-medical home care is the fastest growing senior service, with high demand from millions of aging seniors. A senior care provider helps with everyday in-home chores that may be difficult or impossible for many seniors, like meal preparation, light housekeeping, shopping and errands. Most providers work solo, but adding employees can provide a substantial income boost.
A senior home-care business is recession-proof, provides a steady income, and can be started with as little as a few hundred dollars.
Resources: Senior Homecare Business Guidebook
Senior Concierge Service.
As seniors age, they need more help with many of the daily activities that younger people take for granted, such as errand running, pet care, grocery shopping, household upkeep and dozens of other tasks. A senior concierge provides that help. If you’re a capable, resourceful problem solver with a can-do attitude, providing senior concierge services could be a good fit for you.
Resources: Senior Concierge Business Guidebook
Senior Relocation Service.
This is another fast-growing senior service business, because of the soaring senior population. A senior mover, often called a senior move manager, helps organize and manage a senior’s move to a new, smaller residence and helps seniors decide what to take and what to leave behind.
Moving is always stressful, but when you’re in your 70s and 80s, with reduced strength, balance and a medical condition or two, it can seem overwhelming. That’s why seniors are happy to find someone who understands their special needs and can make the move as smooth and stress-free as possible. Average rates for this service are $54 an hour, or over $100,000 per year.
Resources: Senior Relocation Business Guidebook
Senior Home Safety Advisor.
Most seniors prefer to live independently in their own home as long as possible, but as they age, balance, vision and flexibility are reduced. As a result, one in three seniors has a serious fall each year.
With some simple home modifications, such as grab bars in the bathroom, better lighting and non-slip pads on area rugs, injuries can be greatly reduced, allowing seniors to safely grow old at home.
By providing home safety checks to local seniors, they can be safe at home and avoid crippling falls. A typical home safety survey costs $60 to $200, depending on the home’s size. By partnering with local contractors who do modifications, such as ramps and grab bars, you can earn additional referral fees. Part timers can earn a few thousand a year, while full-time senior home safety advisors can earn over $100,000 yearly.
Resources: Senior Home Safety Advisor Guidebook