An Ageing Population
Our Office for National Statistics tells us that while the UK has a relatively high fertility rate in comparison to the other 26 members of the EU, its population is still ageing. In 1985, the percentage of the UK aged 65 and over stood at 15%. By 2010 it had increased to 17%, and by 2035 it is projected to become 23%. Major reasons for this include a decrease in mortality rate and a longer life expectancy. Such statistics have led to panic – a House of Lords report printed in March of this year concluded that the Government and our society are “woefully underprepared” for the increasing need for health and social care – but for the franchise world they may be beneficial.
The ageing is already having an impact on companies such as Always Best Care Senior Services, Blue Ribbon Community Care and Home Instead Senior Care: franchises providing care for older people within their own homes. The fact that the UK population is ageing, but still has financial independence, means that this is one expanding, multi-million pound industry. Fiona Harrall, a finalist for EWIF’s (Encouraging Women into Franchising) Woman Franchisee of the Year Award for 2013, became a franchisee in 2010 with Home Instead Senior Care, covering St Albans (Hertfordshire). Since then the branch’s turnover has increased by more than 550%, its huge growth had led to her husband quitting his job and joining the company, and it is hoping to recruit over 100 employees this year.
But the rewards of the caring industry are not just financial. It is also a chance to make a difference to people’s lives, to help them. This was one reason why Fiona joined. “We had been touched by relatives who needed care services due to dementia. At that time my husband’s aunt and uncle would have loved to stay at home with support, but they were only offered residential care and sadly ended up in separate care homes. As no other options for care were then available in my area, I wanted to change things. I wanted to make sure that I could give back to my community and provide fantastic care as it should be, allowing older people with help to remain in their own homes.”
No Experience Required
Happily, if you are considering entering this industry, you don’t usually need any nursing skills or even experience in the caring sector, as the training is provided. As a franchisee you will have the role of team leader, rather than be a hands-on carer. You will, however, need to give the impression that you are reliable and compassionate, and then see it through, as you will be meeting with people who are worried about the kind of care that their nearest and dearest are going to get.
Check out the growing caring franchises industry today.