In what seemed like a matter of seconds, our normal day to day activities and way of life was turned inside out with the onset of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
As work, travel, and social restrictions were put into place throughout the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a notice that seniors were exceptionally vulnerable and should avoid being out in public.
Approximately 30% of COVID-19 patients ages 75 to 84 have been hospitalized, with 10.5% admitted for ICU stays, according to the CDC. For patients 85 and older, 31.3% have been hospitalized, with 6.3% landing in the ICU.
When the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus, seniors are safest at home. There are many, however, who have a daily need for personal and specialized care.
Families of the elderly, under their own shelter in place orders, or who might still be exposing themselves to the virus if they are an essential worker, cannot visit with or care for their seniors.
“People want to keep their parents safe and follow the CDC’s recommendation to have seniors avoid groups of people. This has translated into a significant increase in the need for in-home care,” said Peter Ross, co-founder and CEO of Senior Helpers.
As the reality of the new norm settles in, industries are changing operations to meet client and global needs – and to try to survive. Retail and restaurants are closed and finding new ways to get product to their customers. Cleaning services, delivery services, and grocery stores suddenly are in high demand, according to the US Chamber of Commerce CO website.
Joe McDonnell, head of WGSN Insight, says,
“The companies which are best placed to benefit from the situation are those which offer comfort, convenience, or necessity for consumers.”
“We are the front line of first responders,” said Ross. “Keeping seniors healthy in their home keeps them out of hospitals or other medical facilities. We are an essential business in good times, but especially in times of crisis.”
By 2030 the senior population will approach 72 million, more than 20% of the total population, according to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Census Bureau. By 2060, one in four Americans will be 65 or older.
The senior in-home care industry, a $400 billion industry, was predicted to expand exponentially before the pandemic and has proved to fare better than many other businesses during an economic downturn.
As businesses shut down and unemployment claims rise due to the COVID-19 crisis, the senior in-home care industry is hiring new home care workers and seeing increased interest in franchise purchases.
Senior Helpers has sold six new franchises in the weeks since the start of the pandemic in the United States and is seeking to hire at all locations throughout the country.
Certified as a Great Place to Work, Senior Helpers is the first, and so far the only, national in-home care provider to provide each franchise owner across its nationwide network with Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) designed to help ensure all caregivers and clients remain safe under its care amid the current pandemic. In an unprecedented move, they are using corporate resources to ship every location the PPE that is needed.
Ross shared, “We felt a responsibility to shift funds to purchase PPE to protect our staff and our clients. Our clients need to feel safe with the caregivers entering their homes. This is part of our mission in supporting our franchisees and their staff.”
As the immediate need for care workers increases, the company will host virtual interviews and pre-hire sessions for a safe and effective hiring process. In addition to traditional onboarding, every new caregiver will also complete extensive, updated training with courses such as Hand Hygiene, Infection Control, Influenza Prevention, and Transmission-Based Precaution, among others.
“We place the safety and care of our team members and clients above all else,” said Ross. “We are looking for great people who are interested in joining a great company in an industry that is projected to grow consistently over the next 30 years.”
For nearly 20 years, Senior Helpers has provided tools and support to its franchise owners to rise to success in the senior care industry. With 341 units in 42 states, our owners operate franchise locations in the top 20 U.S. markets.
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