It is common knowledge that eldercare is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the healthcare industry, with a demand that skyrocketed in the last five years. And the country will continue to see a burgeoning demand for senior care services in the coming years due to a rapidly growing senior population.
The elderly population is in dire need of facilities providing personalized or person-centered care. When in the past seniors and their families would have preferred traditional nursing homes, reduced government reimbursements created a huge clamor for more affordable and flexible home or community-based alternatives. This change in consumers’ needs resulted in the birth of adult day care programs.
Adult Day Care Programs: Responding to the Changing Needs of a Surging Elderly Population
The needs of the elderly population are dynamic. There is an increased need for home- and community-based senior care providers that can provide seniors with adult day services whenever the primary caregiver is not available. In the past, the only option for decision-makers in the family is to have their aging loved ones institutionalized in a traditional nursing home but thanks to the emergence of adult day services, seniors can stay with their caregivers while the caregivers can have much-needed breaks from caregiving. Most adult day services require modest daily fees and are accessible, even to seniors who have limited income or rely on government funding. This development also created more business opportunities for senior care providers.
Adult day care centers provide participants with services such as meals, basic health care and health assessments, assistance with medications and activities of daily living (ADL). Adult day care centers also provide for transportation, care coordination as well as therapeutic, recreational and socialization activities. They may also provide support services for caregivers in the form of education and support programs, i.e. caregiver workshops, lectures, and support groups. In a nutshell, it is a comfortable place where the elderly can spend the day in, participating in health-seeking activities, while their caregivers are at work, running errands, or enjoying a well-deserved rest and relaxation. It is a compassionate and safe environment for the elderly, managed by an effective program director and maintained by qualified staff members who are accustomed to providing quality, timely care.
Running a Successful Adult Day Care Center
Many are interested in starting an adult day care business but there is hesitation because there is the risk of not attracting enough elderly and having to deal with alarming vacancy rates. The internet is filled with stories about nursing homes that transitioned and expanded their services to include adult day care centers and yet, despite the existing infrastructure, manpower, and capital flow, have been unable to launch an effective and lucrative adult day care program.
The major challenge for those who run an adult day care center is how to let people know about their services and attract the elderly. The key is in utilizing diverse marketing strategies to educate the public about adult day care centers, generate a steady stream of leads and inquiries, and sell their services.
If you are running an adult day care center, here are some tips to attract seniors to your day care business.
- Make use of traditional marketing channels. Since the public knows very little about adult day care centers, you need to create interest and awareness in adult day care programs. You can place on the air radio ads and pay for regular advertising in your community’s daily newspaper.
- Visit local churches and senior centers. Marketing your business through direct contact is invaluable. Visit local churches, senior centers, and government agencies that assist seniors for a chance to inform them and their families about what you offer. Ask resource persons in these institutions if you can leave fliers and brochures in case someone needs the services you provide.
- Build a vast network of senior care providers. In order for your business to thrive, you need to build a good relationship with geriatric care providers including doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and social workers who may easily refer seniors to your adult day care center. Visit clinics and hospitals and ask resource persons if you can leave flyers and brochures in case someone is in need of the services your day care center for adults offers.
- Organize regular, free open house events for seniors and their families. Holding an open house for your potential clients is an opportunity for them and their caregivers to experience the quality care you provide your existing clients. When holding such events, arrange for free transportation to and from your day care center, with strategic pick-up and drop-off points. Make your open house days as enticing as possible, complete with the requisite caring and knowledgeable staff and well-planned activities.
- Strengthen your online presence. In order to attract the elderly and grow your business, you need to build your online presence. This may come as a surprise to you but a huge chunk of seniors and their caregivers search for adult day care services online. Therefore, you should ensure that they can find you. And how do you do this? Aside from having your own website and social media business pages, you should get your adult day care center listed with websites that maintain databases of senior care providers. For instance, Senior Service Maps, maintains a easy-to-use searchable database of senior care providers. The elderly and their families can easily access the profile pages of different adult day care centers throughout the United States by simply typing in their desired location.
If you own or manage an adult day care center, expand your business by listing your facility or service with us. Once listed in our database, you can create your business’ profile page, upload photos in your own gallery, and provide information on your services, amenities, and rates. By using our website’s search feature, seniors, caregivers, and social workers can easily access your day care center’s pages, take virtual tours of your facility, and schedule consultations without having to go through referral agencies.
Photo Credit: Shanti Gardens
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