“I want to start a board and care for seniors”

Back in kindergarten, we learned that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. However, growing up in Minnesota, it always seemed the opposite; March would start out with a thaw and end with a blizzard that crushed our budding hopes for spring. So far this year, march has been all lamb (knock on wood) with nary a lion in sight, which means I can ride my bike to work. It feels great to start the day with a bike ride. The traffic is a little scary, though.

Anyway, yesterday I answered a reader’s question about identifying growth potential for a home care agency, and today I’d like to answer another reader’s question.

My husband and I are currently foster parents but have discussing opening a board and care for elderly. We have absolutely no idea where to start to begin the transition into this new field.

Instead of looking at a board and care facility, ask yourself if starting a home care agency might better serve seniors in your community. This opens up doors to offer services that are not available to board and care facilities.

Since you’re foster parents, you know that fostering means providing a stable home for children who come from unstable homes. Home care provides that same type of stability for senior citizens–by allowing them to stay in their own homes. Studies show that people heal faster when they are cared for in their own homes–the familiarity of the environment increases their level of comfort, which in turn spurs the healing process. Additionally, senior citizens are often pillars of their communities. A person who has lived in his or her home for fifty years provides stability to the neighborhood. And by staying in the home that he has lived in all his life, surrounded by neighbors who know his name, he is able to enjoy that same stability.

Another reason to consider home care: 95% of older adults say that they would prefer to stay in their own homes. That means that over 9 out of 10 older adults in your community will tell you that they’d rather stay in their own homes than move into a board and care facility. In other words, home care will get you more clients. Moreover, home care is one of the fastest growing industries in the country. Here in Minnesota, the top three jobs are personal care assistants, home health aides and home care nurses. By creating a home care agency, you create jobs–and creating jobs brings us back to that whole stability thing we were talking about earlier.

Lastly, home care isn’t just for seniors! Children often benefit from home care as well! You can continue the great work you’ve done as foster parents by “fostering” the health of children–and their families–in your community.

If you take the time to learn more about home care, I’m confident that home care will be the direction you will want to take.

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