OMAHA, Neb., June 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Back in the day, they headed to the Sun Belt states for retirement. But today's seniors are choosing to stay put, fueling a booming home care industry that is faced with the mission of helping seniors remain in homes that aren't always equipped for the challenges of aging. Most older adults and their families find it's worth it. "There's no doubt that seniors today are willing to make tradeoffs to stay in their own homes, so they want to find people who can help them by providing caregiving and assisting them with the upkeep of their homes," said Glenna Yaroch, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise office in Livonia, Mich. Senior care experts say those desires are driving an unprecedented trend to make home the ultimate "stay-cation."
Laura is 92 and lives alone in her suburban home in the Detroit area where the average January low is 18 degrees and a normal winter includes nearly 36 inches of snow. She jokingly calls herself "the bionic woman" because both of her knees and one hip have been surgically replaced. But now her weakened knees have forced her to use a walker in her house and a wheelchair outside the home when someone escorts her on errands.
Laura loves spending time with her adult children, including a daughter and a son who live about 20 miles apart in the San Francisco Bay Area where the northern California climate is considerably more tolerable. But there's no way she would willingly move out of her house. The growing number of seniors with the same desire is the reason caregiving ventures such as the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise office in Livonia, Mich., are staying busy.
Laura's story is far from unique. According to a recent release from the AARP and National Association of Home Builders, 9 of 10 adults over 50 expect to remain in their homes and communities for as long as possible.* Rather than leave, baby boomers who reach retirement are seeking help to stay at home as their needs arise.
"My mother loves her home. She does what she pleases and has her privacy. You always hear her say, 'I thank the Lord God that I am still able to live here,' " said Judy Perry, one of Laura's daughters of Lafayette, Calif. "Neighbors help her by mowing grass and shoveling snow, and she has had a professional home care service for more than four years that she loves."
Laura tells people that she is able to stay in her home because two CAREGivers(SM) from the Home Instead Senior Care office in Livonia take turns assisting her three days a week for three hours each day. The CAREGivers provide companionship, handle light housekeeping duties and take her out for grocery shopping, other errands and pleasure drives.
"I found Home Instead during an internet search, and it has worked so well that she has been recommending Home Instead to her friends," Perry said. "My father passed away about 10 years ago, but she has had no desire to live anywhere else. One day she told me: 'I plan to live in my home until the Lord God says, "That's it." ' After she would visit folks at the nursing home and in assisted living, she would say, 'Oh dear God, I don't want that for myself.' "
Laura is not an uncommon client, said Glenna Yaroch, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care franchise office that serves Laura and more than 140 other clients. "Most seniors have invested 100 percent of their emotions and treasure in their home and don't want to leave if they can help it," Yaroch said. "Sometimes it's the simplest of things. Their home is arranged exactly the way they want it, and they don't want to deal with something that is different. One of the barriers they are willing to try to overcome is the Michigan weather, especially the typical icy winters."
Yaroch, who has operated the franchise for 10 years, said she hears nearly the same theme from seniors who want to remain in their homes.
"They are unwilling to leave longtime settings and relationships that include neighbors, friends, places of worship, social organizations, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, shops, stores, coffee shops, restaurants and other familiar elements. They are reluctant to start from scratch with what will be short-term relationships with people with whom they have little in common," Yaroch pointed out. "There's no doubt that seniors today are willing to make tradeoffs to stay in their own homes, so they want to find people who can help them by providing caregiving and assisting them with the upkeep of their homes."
Yaroch also said that some seniors returning home from the hospital or rehabilitation center find that their ordeal has reaffirmed their belief that they want to live in their homes for as long as they can.
Kathleen McKay, North America Franchise Development Manager for Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care network, said these trends and attitudes among seniors exist not just in Michigan, but throughout the world. Home care companies in the U.S. will likely see mushrooming opportunities well into the future because of the large number of baby boomers. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 76 million Americans were born between 1946 and 1964. As a result, the Home Instead Senior Care network continues to grow, expanding its network of non-medical in-home care franchises to meet the challenge and keep seniors in their homes.
For information about senior care business opportunities, register for a free one-hour Home Instead Senior Care Franchise Opportunities web seminar. The next web seminar is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012, at 1 p.m. Eastern Time.
* National Association of Home Builders and AARP, February 2012; online at http://www.nahb.org/news_details.aspx?sectionID=122&newsID=14991
ABOUT HOME INSTEAD SENIOR CARE
Founded in 1994 in Omaha by Lori and Paul Hogan, the Home Instead Senior Care® network is the world's largest provider of non-medical in-home care services for seniors, with more than 950 independently owned and operated franchises providing in excess of 45 million hours of care throughout the United States, Canada, Japan, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Switzerland, Germany, South Korea, Finland, Austria, Italy, Puerto Rico and the Netherlands. Local Home Instead Senior Care offices employ more than 65,000 CAREGivers(SM) worldwide who provide basic support services – assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), personal care, medication reminders, meal preparation, light housekeeping, errands, incidental transportation and shopping – which enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. In addition, CAREGivers are trained in the network's groundbreaking Alzheimer's Disease or Other Dementias CARE: Changing Aging Through Research and Education(SM) Program to work with seniors who suffer from these conditions. This world class curriculum also is available free to family caregivers online or through local Home Instead Senior Care offices. At Home Instead Senior Care, it's relationship before task, while continuing to provide superior quality service that enhances the lives of seniors everywhere.
Additional information about Home Instead Senior Care is available from Erin Albers, local PR and marketing director. Information about senior care business opportunities is available from the Home Instead multimedia brochure.
SOURCE Home Instead Senior Care