In keeping with the demographic trends evident across Europe, the British population is growing steadily older. Currently, nearly one in six Britons are over 65, and this number is set to increase by a further 5.5 million over the coming two decades. By 2050, the number of elderly in the UK will top 19 million, according to Parliament UK.
While there is concern that this greying of the British population will incur considerable cost to the tax payer, the opportunities offered by a swollen retiree market are also much in evidence; senior citizens spend more on average than their junior counterparts and afford a range of unique business opportunities to entrepreneurs shrewd enough to capitalise, including in the area of senior care.
Senior care is now big business in the UK, and the increasing percentage of over 65’s guarantee’s its growth well into the future. This being the case, a senior care franchise could prove a lucrative long-term investment for an aspiring franchisee motivated not only by money but by a desire to give back.
There are presently a number of franchises operating within this capacity across Britain, offering an invaluable service within their communities while generating growing profits for the franchisee. Always Best Care Senior Services is an American franchise that has honed its service in its indigenous market before opting to franchise its stellar brand into Britain. Blue Ribbon Community Care offers a similar service to senior citizens, employing a partnership approach to guarantee the highest quality of care to its clientele. SureCare is another franchise offering care to clients within the comfort of their own homes, and has seen its profits and profile soar as a result of the aging demographic shift.
The ascension of franchises such as these has been fuelled by another, more immediate reality. Austerity measures have taken their toll on a plethora of public services in the UK, and senior citizens have felt the pinch from this, with government-funded services for the elderly facing the firing line; most of England’s 152 local authorities have had to reduce spend on elderly care, according to The Guardian. Given this, the private sector now has an opportunity if not an obligation to facilitate this same level of service, which is where care franchises come into play.
“Obviously things are getting tighter, and we totally appreciate that,” Vikkie Donnachie, Franchise Sales Manager for SureCare told Franchise Direct. “However, people still have to receive a certain amount of care. It’s all about being there for the right people and building relationships to support them.”
Donnachie also enthuses about the degree of job satisfaction franchisees receive, maintaining that caring for the elderly is a highly rewarding career path on a personal as well as financial level.
“When I first started with the company, one of my remits was to find out what brought people [the franchisees] to the sector. It was because they were looking for a business opportunity with financial rewards and that was going to be rewarding in terms of giving something back into the community as well. That’s the feedback that we get back a lot from franchisees. There’s a lot of money to be made, granted, but it’s rewarding at the end of it.”
Even if care isn't your cup of tea, the older market offers a number of other franchising opportunities to entrepreneurs. Senior Shop retails fashionable clothing specifically for the older market, while All Mobility – as its name implies – sells tailored mobility solutions (including chairs, stair lifts and electric scooters) that enable seniors to remain mobile both inside and outside the home.
If current demographics endure, such franchises will find much need for their products and services in the years to come.