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Retirement Home – Senior Citizens – Getting Started, Tips & Advice

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Starting a nursing home

If you want to start a business and you like dealing with seniors and their care, opening a nursing home can be your business.

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A nursing home is a place of accommodation where elderly people live temporarily or permanently, have a substitute function for the family home. The clients to whom this project is directed require special treatment: serious, formal, kind, loving.

The number of elderly people is increasing, life expectancy has risen, and so the number of potential users of nursing home services has grown.

A nursing home means providing comfort so that these people can live together properly in the place. The clientele interested in a nursing home are those people over 60 who, instead of staying at home, for reasons of health, lack of company or problems of various kinds, find themselves having to live somewhere else other than their usual residence.

Services provided by a nursing home

Some of the services offered are those related to health: basic cures, hygiene control, administration of medication, change of shovels and absorbents, control of diseases and symptoms, preparation of different meals, provision of recreational activities, etc.

Additional services or more complete fees are to treat foot conditions, hairdressing, offer laundry service i.e. washing and ironing, transportation, among others.

Employees who are needed in a nursing home

This sector requires a large number of employees:

A doctor, who must keep the medical records of all the clients of the nursing home, will give indications about rehabilitations, treatments and medications.
A caregiver, trained as a geriatric assistant, a clinic assistant, who will offer basic care to the elderly such as hygiene, basic cures, clothing and food.
A cook, who will be in charge of the organization and preparation of the meals.
A person in charge of cleaning, ironing, etc.
If you are going to offer complementary services such as transport and hairdressing you must have staff to carry out these activities.
Personnel who carry out leisure and recreational activities, such as physical education teachers, plastic artists, people who read or tell stories, etc.
What the facilities of a nursing home will look like
A nursing home must have several facilities and equipment:
Elevators, if the residence has more than one floor, since those who will live there will be with reduced mobility.
Elements that help with mobility such as wheelchairs, canes, walkers, handles where they can be held in certain spaces, etc.
An administration area: which must be located within the same building, for administrative-accounting purposes.
A visiting room, where family and friends can visit their loved ones.
Bedrooms, which should be comfortable with good lighting, ventilation and pleasantly decorated to provide greater comfort.
Bathrooms and toilets in addition to the bathrooms that are inside the rooms.
An area corresponding to the infirmary where all emergencies can be attended to.
Outdoor space where people can recreate and distract themselves.
A room where recreational activities can be carried out, equipped with books, painting elements, board games, cards, televisions, film collections, etc.

Requirements for starting a nursing home business

This business is related to the accommodation and coexistence that the elderly have in a substitute function of the family home, either temporarily or permanently, where the greatest possible integral attention is given. To do so, several requirements must be followed.

The clients to whom the project is directed require a special, serious, formal, kind and loving treatment. Being an important factor that the entrepreneur, like the treatment and care of the elderly, disabled and fully involved in the business.

This project is indicated for people who have knowledge in the care of healthy and sick people of the third age, with some academic degree, in Geriatrics, nursing, ATS, or similar. Likewise, a differentiation should be established between the basic services that the centre is going to provide and the optional services, thus establishing a basic price rate and a complementary rate.

Advantages of having this nursing home business

This is a business that can be very profitable for professionals and technicians in the care of the elderly. Providing a highly professional service that is very well paid in the market.

The company and the team have enough autonomy and expertise to place the price that best fits the demand and the need of the customers. A key offer may be optional services that can give added value to the business, such as those services that have an extraordinary cost not included in the basic day center rate. They can be prescribed by the care management of the centre and are for the user’s voluntary use.

Such is the case of the physiotherapy service, which is a service provided by a physiotherapist at the request of the family, user, doctor of the centre or general practitioner. Another service is the Chiropodist, which is related to the treatment of foot conditions and deformities. Likewise, the hairdresser’s service, which is related to the attention to personal image through the cutting and arrangement of hair and/or beard.

Likewise, there is the transport service, which is a key point, because there are several possibilities for the family to move the user from home to the center and vice versa.

The center can offer the hiring of an adapted taxi with the convenient cost and the service of the driver, to transfer the user from his home to the vehicle or vice versa.

An adapted vehicle from the company or other private company can be offered. It is possible for the centre to have its own adapted vehicle and to establish a schedule for picking up the elderly.

Tips for starting a nursing home

One of the tips is to look at the market of the social services sector, which has increased due to the socioeconomic and demographic changes that have taken place and which have led to the appearance of new needs that until now had been covered by the family sphere.

The increase in life expectancy, both for men and women, the chronification of certain illnesses and other factors have meant that there are now a greater number of households made up of older people living alone and many of them with some degree of dependency, which represents a business opportunity for those who want to enter the market of care centres for the elderly.

It should not be lost sight of the fact that the service is aimed at the target audience that can be potential users in people over 60 who, instead of remaining at home surrounded by their social and family environment, are affected by a problem of physical or cognitive deterioration or by some social problem that diminishes their capacity for autonomy to carry out activities in the manner considered normal for their age and who are in need of specialized help to meet their needs and achieve their personal development.

Another important piece of advice is to look at the competition formed by nursing homes, as well as day care centers located in the area that offer care for the elderly, in order to incorporate added value that allows the company to attract as many customers as possible.

Problems that can arise in the business process

One of the challenges of this business is always to get the maximum independence from the user for the activities of daily life. From daily hygiene to the ability to walk through eating alone, dressing up and demanding the need for the toilet.

Another challenge is to be able to obtain sufficient guidance for the family on the action to be taken so that the activities, treatments and procedures provided at the centre have continuity at home, especially for the readjustment to the activities of daily life or the re-education of sphincters.

Another problem is getting the family to understand the architectural adaptations of the home to the user’s disabilities and the elimination of architectural barriers.

Success stories 

One successful business in this field is HomeWatch, specialists in the care of the elderly.  The company’s fundamental principle is the power of care. The franchise is offered to investors and professionals interested in providing home care and elderly care services, who wish to find a rewarding path to financial security.

Another successful business in this field is Ayuda 24, (Home Medical Care) of Home Medical Care, offering an assistance service within the perimeter of the city. It is aimed at investors and professionals interested in operating under the principle of the multiplier effect by transferring the portfolio from year to year, doubling sales.