Healthcare remains one of the growing industries in the United States. The costs alone accounted for almost 17% of the country’s GDP in 2015. By 2030, it may increase to 32% or spending of $16 trillion.
A growing trend called aging in place also makes opportunities like a home healthcare franchise attractive. New owners can choose between offering hospice or standard healthcare. Existing ones can convert theirs to any of these or both.
Anyone interested to undertake this business, though, needs to learn more about what aging in place means. They can begin with these facts:
1. The Senior Population Is Expanding Fast
The number of older Americans will only continue to rise in the following years. A 2018 systematic review even claimed that this figure would eventually beat that of children by 2035. From 2018 to 2060, the number of older adults from 65 years old will go up to 95 million. They will then comprise over 22% of the population.
Many factors contribute to the growing volume of seniors, especially in the United States:
- Healthcare is getting better, improving well-being and quality of life.
- The birth rate of the country is decreasing.
- American seniors these days are better educated, which allows them to find jobs with higher pay. The poverty rate among this group also decreased over the last five decades. It went down to 9% from 30% in 1966.
2. Their Group Will Also Be More Ethnically Diverse
The future baby boomers are going to be some of the most ethnically diverse groups in the country. According to AARP, the number of white seniors will begin to level off while other racial demographics will increase by 2030. Thirty years after, around 50% of them will be white.
Why does this matter for those doing home healthcare franchise? Culture and ethnicity still play a role in a person’s health and well-being:
- The CDC data revealed that black seniors are prone to hypertension, diabetes, and stroke. About 35% are sedentary, while over 40% are obese. Over 15% of them cannot see a doctor.
- Huffington Post’s research, meanwhile, revealed that Latinos are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease seven years early than non-Latino whites.
3. Many of These Seniors Are Also Caregivers
In data by Pew Research Center, over 40 million of the unpaid caregivers in the United States are seniors. These are individuals between 65 years old and above. More than 65% of them are caring for one older adult. About 22% tend to two.
This setup may exist for the following reasons:
- These seniors may already be living with those who need care before.
- They may find the cost of a nursing home or hospice care expensive.
- Many seniors continue to work and thus earn income to help support their loved ones.
For home healthcare business owners, this dynamic matters since it also affects their role to their future clients. For example, they may serve only as co-carers or provide services only at certain times. These may be when caregivers had to report to work, or their ward already needs hospice care.
The United States population is indeed aging, but along with it is the shift in the demographics. This change can affect the kinds of services older adults may need in the future. Knowing them can help home healthcare entrepreneurs prepare better.