Assisted Living Franchises
As our nation continues to see an increase in the percentage of residents aged 65 and older, the importance of ensuring seniors’ quality of life becomes more important than ever. Since the first assisted living facility opened its doors in the late 1980s, the industry has steadily grown, offering vital care and support for some of our nation’s most vulnerable seniors.
Today, there are over 30,000 assisted living communities in America, according to the American Health Care Association (AHCA). While many of these communities are independently owned, over half (56%) are chain-affiliated—franchises, in other words. If you’ve ever had the desire to improve the quality of life of seniors, owning your own assisted living franchise (or senior services franchise) could be the perfect opportunity.
This article will provide an overview of assisted living franchises—what they are, what it means to franchise one, and how you can get started.
What Is Assisted Living?
As defined by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “assisted living is for people who need help with daily care, but not as much help as a nursing home provides.” In other words, to put this difference simply, assisted living includes vital support with relation to things like mobility, personal hygiene, dressing, eating, and maintaining continence.
- Nursing home residents receive around-the-clock monitoring and a high level of medical attention and care.
- Assisted living residents, on the other hand, are able to live a bit more independently, while still receiving plenty of support around their activities of daily living (ADLs).
It’s worth noting that nursing homes and assisted living facilities aren’t the only options for seniors in need. Additional avenues include short-term care, affordable housing, independent living, skilled nursing, and memory care.
Ultimately, each senior’s needs are unique, and they change over time. Assisted living facilities provide personalized care, helping to maintain the right balance between a senior’s desired independence and the support they need.
What Are the 3 Levels of Care in Assisted Living?
There are 3 levels of care in assisted living, based on the extent to which a resident needs attention and support. Most assisted living facilities will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to support a diverse population with specialized needs. That being said, the basic levels of care are supervisory care, personal care, and directed care. Let’s take a closer look at what each of these entails.
- Level 1: Supervisory Care | When receiving supervisory care, residents are regularly monitored, typically by Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), Registered Nurses (RNs), or Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs). While supervisory care prioritizes independence and autonomy, when residents do need support—performing daily activities, experiencing an emergency, or needing prescription medications, for example—caretakers are ready to step in and help.
- Level 2: Personal Care | This level of care is needed when a senior is unable to fully and regularly complete their activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, or eating. Within this level of care, seniors receive empathetic care and support to help maintain as much independence—and the greatest quality of life—possible.
- Level 3: Directed Care | Directed care—also sometimes referred to as “enhanced assisted living”—involves more hands-on, around-the-clock support for the most vulnerable assisted living residents. This level of care is necessary for residents who experience cognitive impairment that makes it difficult, if not impossible, for them to understand their condition, weigh in on care decisions, ask for help when needed, and so on.
How Many Assisted Living Residents Are There in the US?
According to the AHCA, over 800,000 seniors call an assisted living community their home, with 87 being the average age of an assisted living resident. The number of assisted living residents across the country is likely to continue to increase over time, especially considering the estimate that by 2036, “the population of adults older than 85 will double” (and potentially triple by 2049), according to Consumer Affairs.
What State has the Most Assisted Living Residents?
The state with the highest number of assisted living residents is California (93,090), with New York (92,784) not too far behind. Rounding out the top 10 are:
3. Texas (81,275)
4. Florida (66,684)
5. Pennsylvania (64,276)
6. Ohio (63,324)
7. Illinois (57,726)
8. New Jersey (37,345)
9. Indiana (34,406)
10. Missouri (33,399)
The states with the most assisted living communities and highest capacity for residents include:
- California (5,900 communities, with a maximum licensed capacity of 127,000).
- Florida (2,400 communities, with a maximum licensed capacity of 75,100).
- Washington (2,000 communities, with a maximum licensed capacity of 41,500).
- Michigan (1,700 communities, with a maximum licensed capacity of 36,500).
- Oregon (1,500, communities, with a maximum licensed capacity of 31,500).
- Texas (1,300 communities, with a maximum licensed capacity of 48,700).
- Pennsylvania (1,000 communities, with a maximum licensed capacity of 62,900).
What Are the Largest Assisted Living Companies in the US?
By their number of facilities nationwide, the largest assisted living companies include Brookdale Senior Living, Inc., Life Care Services (LCS), and Holiday Retirement in the top 3 positions. Together, these three companies account for over 100,000 assisted living units—over 60,000 of which are under the Brookdale Senior Living brand.
How Much Does an Assisted Living Franchise Cost?
While franchise costs vary significantly based on a wide range of factors, $100,000 is a ballpark estimate of what you might need to invest. Of course, some will cost considerably less than that, while others are going to cost significantly more.
For some frame of reference, consider the investment costs attached to the Top 5 Senior Care Franchise Opportunities, a list compiled by Franchise Business Review:
- FirstLight Home Care (in-home care): $113,300 to $197,000 investment cost.
- Visiting Angels (in-home care): $84,085 to $125,885 investment cost.
- Senior Care Authority (senior placement): $71,095 to $90,395 investment cost.
- Caring Senior Service (in-home care): $100,000 to $160,000 investment cost.
- Right at Home (in-home care): $82,000 to $150,800 investment cost.
As you’ll notice, these are not hard-and-fast numbers—they are ranges. This is due to the sheer number of variables that can impact the ultimate investment cost. The best way to compare your options is by visiting Franchise.com’s Senior Care Franchise Opportunities page. There, you can find the perfect franchise to invest in, whether it’s one of the “big names” in the industry or lesser-known opportunities, such as:
- Synergy HomeCare: $44,718 to $185,833 total investment cost; $50,000 cash required.
- Hallmark Homecare: $55,000 to $65,000 total investment cost; $60,000 cash required.
- Caring Transitions: $59,000 to $82,000 total investment cost; $50,000 cash required.
- Assisted Living Locators: $62,000 to $75,000 total investment cost; $50,000 cash required.
- ComForCare Senior Services: $71,475 to $154,150 total investment cost; $50,000 cash required.
How Profitable Is a Senior Care Business?
While there are several variables that can impact any single facility’s profitability, senior care is considered to bean industry worth investing in. It’s easy to see how this would be the case, especially once you understand that senior care is not a new or emerging concept—rather, it’s existed for decades and at this point it’s a well-established business model. Not only that, but as we noted earlier, the demand for senior care and assisted living is only expected to further increase as the population continues to skew toward seniors.
Investing in a senior living or assisted care franchise is a great way to get into the industry. According to a Franchise Business Review study, senior care franchises have the highest average annual income ($155,132)—narrowly edging out real estate franchises ($152,852) for the top spot.
As far as profitability goes, Retire Fearless notes that even “an assisted living facility the size of a single-family house can generate a gross profit of $36,000 and $10,000 in cash flow per month,” depending on “factors such as its amenities, location, and size.” When you opt to invest in a senior care or assisted living franchise as opposed to an independent facility, you can increase your chances of reliable profits. That’s because the franchising model provides plenty of insight and support around how to operate and manage a successful operation.
Is Owning a Senior Care or Assisted Living Franchise Right for Me?
Deciding to enter the senior care or assisted living industry isn’t something you should take lightly. After all, the quality of life of an untold number of seniors is on the line. If you’re highly empathetic and motivated to make a real difference for a vulnerable population, though, you should strongly consider getting involved. Becoming an assisted living franchise owner doesn’t mean you’re going to have to suddenly learn to actually assist residents and deliver care, of course.
So, what qualities or characteristics might make you an ideal assisted living franchise owner and operator? At a bare minimum, you should have an empathetic mindset and genuine desire to help seniors (and their families). Yes, becoming a franchisee does represent a significant investment and is a sort of business decision, profit should not be your only motive. If you’re truly driven to make a difference in these seniors’ lives—and to help their families receive peace of mind knowing their loved one is in good hands—then investing in an assisted living franchise can be the perfect move.
While it’s also important to possess some level of business acumen, as well as a motivation to learn more about the senior care industry, you don’t have to become an expert, per se. One major advantage of franchise ownership is that you don’t have to build the entire business from the ground up, or make every decision on your own. Instead, the franchisor (or parent company) will guide and support you through processes like staffing the facility, training that staff, and so on.
Ultimately, becoming a franchise owner is more than just a financial transaction—especially in the senior care industry where literal lives hang in the balance. As long as you’re getting into it for the right reasons, though, and are prepared to work with the franchisor in order to run a successful operation, it can be a really great opportunity.
How Do I Find the Most Profitable Senior Care Franchises?
If you’re looking for the best senior care franchises for sale, look no further than Franchise.com! There, you can browse available franchises within the industry and sort them by factors like location and franchise cost. Whether you’re looking for a small assisted living franchise or the largest senior care companies appeal to you more, the right franchise opportunity may be no more than a couple clicks away!
As you browse individual franchises, you can quickly learn more about each company’s approach to senior care, the services they offer, and the states with available locations for investment. You can also, of course, view and compare different franchises’ total investment cost and required cash, or click the big red Get Free Info button to request even more information, so you can make the best decision possible.
Top 5 Senior Care and Assisted Living Franchises to Consider Today
As you begin your search, consider checking out these fast-growing senior care and assisted living franchises that are available right now at Franchise.com: