The Senior Boom: How your franchise can prosper in the new age of seniors.

Author:Campagna, David
 
FREE EXCERPT

Americans are aging and living longer than ever before. Baby Boomers are just turning 75 this year, which means we haven't come close to hitting the peak of this wave. The number of seniors is expected to double from 40 million people in 2010 to 88.5 million by the year 2050.

Of this rapidly growing population, 77 percent of seniors will suffer from at least two chronic conditions and will require some level of care. BrightStar Care is already experiencing this impact, and has a projected 30 to 40 locations opening every year to expand on the

330 already in business.

Franchises must track this information and be prepared for this uptick in the senior population to stay ahead and adapt. To do so, here are a few key elements to keep in mind:

* Understand what seniors want.

* Adapt your business to cater to this population.

* Prepare your staff for growth and additional responsibilities.

Although the numbers can seem overwhelming when you look at them, preparing for this population shift can be perfectly manageable, and profitable, for your franchise.

WHAT SENIORS WANT

Understanding seniors and their mentality is a key step in preparing your business to handle the uptick in senior population. An important factor of this senior population is they prefer personalized, face-to-face interaction. BrightStar Care and other in-home care agencies are noticing that people prefer one-on-one, personal interaction instead of going to nursing homes. Nursing homes can have a cold, impersonal feel, and even though you are surrounded by people, there's not many chances to make true connections. Having a caretaker come into your home provides individualized attention; spending time to go on walks, do puzzles, read magazines or just chat.

Another element important to seniors and Baby Boomers is their "stuff." Generally, Baby Boomers have more wealth and belongings than their parents. Baby Boomers worked hard to climb the economic ladder, and created the backbone for many industries today. Because of this, Baby Boomers like to stay in their homes, surrounded by their possessions, which serve as a source of pride and accomplishment from how hard they worked over the years. Companies should keep these two factors in mind and figure out how to apply it to their own business model.

ADAPT TO CHANGING TIMES

As the senior population grows, companies that provide products such as hearing aids, walkers and oxygen tanks will see a spike in sales. Even if your franchise...

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