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Assisted Living Business Idea

Learning how to start an assisted living business is ideal for those who want to help the elderly or physically challenged to live fuller lives. Many people need help with day-to-day activities, but still wish to live at home. Home care workers enable their clients to do just that. Clients are able to enjoy greater independence, with daily or weekly help from a visiting caregiver.

The aging population in the United States gives entrepreneurs a unique opportunity. The demand for senior services is exploding. There are over 35 million seniors in the United States. Seniors are the fastest growing population segment today. As the population continues to age, the demand for assisted living services will continue to grow.

Assisted Living Business Licenses and Training

Learning how to start an assisted living business begins with research. Investigate the assisted living services already offered in your area and determine whether or not your community can sustain your business. Are there under-served areas? Does the median income indicate that residents will be able to afford your assisted living services? What prices are charged by other assisted living businesses?

Typical assisted living care worker duties include some or all of the following:

  • Housecleaning and general maintenance
  • Laundry
  • Running errands
  • Driving clients to the store or appointments
  • Food preparation, cooking and cleanup
  • Personal grooming and care

Determine what services you will provide and the prices you will charge based on your research. Fill a niche in location, services, or pricing to become competitive.

Most states require certification only when a home assistant is responsible for health related care. Laws vary, however, so check with your state and local regulatory agencies. Living assistance workers typically do not offer medical care, but it is important that you and your employees are trained in CPR and basic first aid.

If you plan to drive clients, check with your local DMV to determine if you need a chauffeur or similar license to do so legally.

Marketing Your Assisted Living Business

Local marketing and word of mouth advertising are essential for a business as personal as a home assistant. Trust is earned. People are understandably cautious about allowing a stranger into their home. Client testimonials will be of great value as you look for new customers. Offering a free visit or a percentage off to current clients who refer others to you encourages word of mouth advertising.

Locally advertise in the printed media. Volunteer your services to charity. Stay active in the local community. A successful business owner is also a good neighbor.

How to Start an Assisted Living Business

Assisted living care is a highly personal service. Compassion, friendliness, and understanding are essential as you work with different people. Clients may not feel well and be difficult to work with at times. You and your employees must be willing to go the extra mile for clients.

In addition to having the right attitude, the following will likely be required for your business:

  • Advertise, interview and hire qualified employees.
  • A reliable, easily accessible vehicle for transporting clients.
  • Cleaning supplies and laundry detergent, if not supplied.
  • Work gloves and protective clothing.
  • Liability insurance.

Learning how to start an assisted living business and implementing what you learn is a process that takes time. As you gain experience and work with more clients, you will learn more efficient ways of completing tasks. As the owner of a successful assisted living business, your first priority will always be your clients. An owner must also make time to properly administer the business. Your day may consist of client appointments, sending out invoices, catching up on bookkeeping, planning marketing strategies, purchasing supplies, and performing personnel tasks.

Keys For Success

Keep in mind the following keys for success when learning how to start an assisted living business:

  • Respectful, compassionate client care is the most important key to success.
  • Hire qualified, trustworthy employees. Conduct background checks before hiring. Ensure that each employee has CPR and basic first aid training. Employees must have the necessary people skills.
  • Stay in touch with the family of your clients. Maintaining a dialogue with those who care about your customers is a personal touch that promotes goodwill and trust.
  • Arrive for appointments on time.

Expanding The Business

As you start your assisted living business and make plans to grow, consider the following expansion ideas. You could…

  • …hire more staff and take on more clients.
  • …expand your service area.
  • …contact local and county agencies for the elderly. Many maintain lists of qualified independent contractors to recommend to members of the community.
  • …teach others how to start an assisted living business by either franchising your business model or conducting classes.

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