Advocate for the Aging

My home care's better than yours

I had a meeting with a friend who sells long term care insurance recently and we started talking about the networking functions we go to and how many people there are in the senior care industry. There's been an explosion the last couple of years.

When I started my business almost ten years ago, there were really only three franchise systems for in-home care for the elderly, Comfort Keepers, Home Instead, and Visiting Angels. The last number I heard was 56 franchise systems for in-home care and that's just the franchise systems. There are now 212 licensed agencies for in-home care in just Northern Virginia. That does not count the independent agencies that are not licensed and the independent caregivers working in individual homes. No one knows how many of those there are. Someone from the Senior Beacon told me he gets 10 calls a month from people starting new agencies. So many new agencies were applying for licenses in Virginia that the state put a moratorium on new licensing until at least 2012.

Is there enough business to support all these new agencies and independents? Even with the upcoming surge in the senior population, it's going to be tough for everyone to make a living, much less a profit, with these numbers.

So, I'm interested to see if we are going to get into consolidation in this industry like we've seen in banks and hospitals. Will we get "Comfort Instead?" How about "Comforting Angels?" Or, "Angels Instead?"

Okay, I could go on like this for a very long time. We will just have to wait and see.

By

Toni Reinhart

 |  November 3, 2010; 6:28 AM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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