Last Updated on 5 November 2020 by Gertrude
Do you love seeing the elders in better home care not abandoned and living in poverty?
Do you want to begin an elder care business but you get confused on how to get started?.
Most importantly, you believe Kenyans take care of their parents and an elder care business isn’t necessary.
Did you know in a few years, Kenya will be ridden with the needs of elder assistance?
Because the nation is a youth nation, the youths aren’t giving birth and the parents are getting older. What remains is the ageing population, who are left under not so good care.
Also, you need an elder care facility not for the elderly but for people recuperating from illnesses, surgery or need special attention, like children with special needs.
Before beginning a home-based caregiving business, you must know this is a business requiring compassion.
You cannot work in the business without feeling empathy for the ones you take care of.
You may need to take some psychology classes to be in tune with emotions – online classes are efficient.
You may also need to work in a care facility to gain more experience.
Importantly, an elder care business needs you to have connections with families who want their parents to be taken care of. Building strong connections and reputations is crucial.
How Do I Start an Elder Care Business in Kenya?Tips for Setting a Paying Seniors Home
It’s rewarding to start a business caring for the elderly. They say that Kenyans don’t love taking their parents to elder care homes.
Friends and family often ridicule or look down upon youths taking their parents to care homes.
To begin an elder care business, you have to get past these negative comments and go for it.
The following are winning tips for beginning an elder care business and they include:
1. Start from the comfort of your home
Yes, I’m the queen of home-based businesses in Kenya, in the making, of course.
I often say, if a business cannot work for you from home, then it won’t work.
Then, of course, I throw in Amazon to give you an example of a home-based business that’s ginormously successful.
Beginning an elder care business from home means, you don’t have over cost to maintain.
Your home can turn into an office.
And you can easily remove or add what feels important.
You have to determine what areas of an elder care business should be run from home.
For example, what services do you want to offer?
Is it in-home nursing or a tour company for the elderly? Now, do you have to provide a caregiving role? Where you work as a nurse and must be around the elder 24/7 hours?
If, for example, you want to provide in-home nursing, begin by building from your home.
What in-home services are your providing? Injections, cleaning services or repairing services or sticking to only reminders?
The profits you get from your services, reinvest them before splurging on things.
Reinvest into the business by providing more elder care services.
2. Choose services to offer
There are a million and one elder care services to offer. You only need to ask or look.
For example, Kenyans who afford to leave their parents under caregivers are often rich, earning millions per month or hundreds of thousands.
No wonder many care facilities are in posh establishments like Hurlingham and Lavington.
So, capitalise on this fact by introducing services like tours, you want to have specialised buses made for the elderly and those on walking sticks or wheelchair users.
Take the elders to a trip of a lifetime/dream vacations with lots of senior activities. Other senior business ideas include:
Retirement financial planning – help them plan their finances for inheritance and giving to charity ensuring that no one cheats them of their earnings
Organise senior dating services – who said seniors don’t like to spend the last years on earth in bliss?
READ MORE: ElderCare Business Ideas in Kenya
3. Take the time to name your business
Yes, naming a business is one of the biggest startup headaches. Why?
Because a name is part of your branding and a necessary tool to help differentiate you and your business or services you want to offer in your business.
Take your time to choose a name, not one which restricts you and the services you want to offer or may offer in future.
Also, a name helps you set a searchable name, important for Google and for your website.
You want to have a name with an impact that’s short and easy to remember for the elders, even elders with Alzheimer’s.
You want elders to refer you to their friends at the mention of why they look so happy these days and not names which they have to pore through pages of notes to recall.
Start by looking on places like Hostgator and Namecheap the availability of your names and search on business name generators like biz.
I spend time there these days finding business names for my printable shop and wellness businesses.
3. You’re a sole proprietor (solopreneur), register your business as an LLC
When I read, LLC sometime back, I almost fainted.
I don’t like anything complicated or explained in hard to understand language. But, an LLC makes your senior care business recognisable and it means in simple English, your assets, those valuables won’t be considered as part of your business, ever.
In the case of bank debts/unserviced loans, no one will repossess your house or cars or jewellery.
The reason I advise, begin from home, learn the business and scale. Don’t focus on borrowing or taking loans.
4. Set your prices
Yes, after determining your services, you must set your prices.
Provide services your customers cannot resist. Beat your competition by setting competitive and affordable pricing.
Remember to keep in mind expenses like insurance, car payments or maintenance and what you must pay yourself. I insist, again, price your worth.
5. Cover your business (Insurance)
An eldercare business is kind like a daycare facility especially if you turn a home into an elder care facility.
You must insure for fires, building damages, electronics and any valuables.
Check some of the reputable insurance companies in Kenya like Britam, Jubilee to see what and how they can cover your elder business.
6. An eldercare business runs on word of mouth to build a reputation
You must have a good if not excellent reputation.
An eldercare business is built on reputation and a name is built through word of mouth marketing.
Word of mouth means referrals. The more the referrals, the more the business and your bank balance.
7. Ask yourself what are the supplies required to run a successful elder care home?
After determining what your services are, ask yourself what supplies do you need? And what period of time is required to get the supplies.
For example, you may start an elder care home with a simple offering, physical therapy.
Then you realise a gap in the market, some elders who would want to live in a home because they feel like they’re invading their kids’ privacy.
A house requires millions of shillings in investment and may take a few years to build or acquire.
See, go from short term (small/in-home care or physical therapy) as you glide to the long-term (a facility).
7. Provide exceptional service without thinking twice
These elders whether in your home or their kids or their homes are your parents. They are elders.
They require respect of their private properties and lives.
Respect is a customer service most elders aren’t accorded.
Listen to the elders, when they tell you a certain caregiver isn’t doing the best job, they probably aren’t.
Ensure the seniors hype about you.
You know elders hype about what they are doing to their friends.
And their friends tell their friends and that’s what you want. Stand out.
Be the best senior caregiver in your region or town.
Talk with a keen ear to the seniors.
Pay attention to what they are saying and what they aren’t.
Fix the roofs, clean their homes like a nurse in a surgeon’s room.
You want to have hygienic facilities envied by the kids of the elderly.
Love the seniors because one day it’ll be your turn. We all age, after, all.
How to Find Clients for Your Elder Care Business in Kenya
How does a newbie business owner in the eldercare business find clients for their business in Kenya?
I provide you with a few ways for getting customers knocking within a few weeks of opening business and the ways include:
1. Learn about what other elder caregivers charge, charge in the middle
Research what other caregiving homes charge.
Now, charge like them or a bit less but with more services rendered.
For example, if you aim to look after the elders by providing them with a safe place to stay, take it a notch higher.
Offer physical therapy sessions, free of charge or massage therapy sessions, in their paid packages.
A little comfort goes a long way.
A road trip or a simple out of vacation to a town they wanted to visit.
Think outside the box how to ramp up your charges to rival the other care homes.
2. Get your licences and especially insurance cover
Of course when your business has insurance and other necessary permits the kids of the elders won’t be sceptical about your services or your business.
People want to get associated with a brand that values, cares and takes responsibility.
Plus, insurance covers reassure a parent.
You don’t want to look like an organ donating centre when the curtains get pulled.
Do you know those kinds of scandals?
3. Have a website to list your services
Many Kenyan business owners don’t value websites. Yes, they have it but for the aesthetics. A website is a marketing tool.
Meaning, use your website to market your services by adding value.
For example, educate Kenyans with parents living in their homes how to care and talk to their parents.
Or if their parent suffers from a mental illness, teach them how to care for them instead of neglecting them.
All these you can do via blog posts, offer tips and tricks, or an inside scoop of how you run your business and offer advice of others who want to begin an elder care business.
You want to stand out, to be chosen/selected as the go-to person and a website offers that.
A website is another source of revenue, so you can monetise your services or sell equipment through your website.
4. Advertise and market vigorously
Use your website to market your elder care business through content (videos, articles, blog posts).
Don’t stop at your website only, settle for social media too. Kenyans still hang on Facebook and Twitter.
And more Kenyan youths are on Instagram and coming on YouTube.
Capitalise on creating videos about stating an elder care business in Kenya.
Draw attention to why elder care homes are important and what elders gain from such facilities.
5. Introduce yourself to senior homes (network)
Yes, you will have to knock on some reputable elder care homes in your area or around the country.
The majority of care homes are concentrated in Nairobi, but the idea is picking up in other counties.
Mind you, a lot of business owners have a scarcity mentality, they may believe you want to ‘steal’ their idea, and may not welcome you at all.
Don’t give up. Research and reach out to elder care homes until you get one offering you first-hand information on running an elder home.
Attend networking events where business leaders meet, some of the business leaders have parents ‘rotting’ away in the rural areas.
Talk to them about your business. Yes, you get a gazillion NOs before a YES. Never give up.
How to Operate a Successful Home-based Elderly Home in Kenya
How do I succeed when running an elder care home in Kenya?
An eldercare business needs grit, determination, love and care for the seniors.
But there are other tips needed to succeed when running elder care home and they include:
1. Never give up
Business owners or would-be business owners begin with great amazing ideas.
When it doesn’t work out in 2 or 4 weeks, they give up.
I’m guilty of giving businesses six months! In reality, that’s not how it works.
You have to wait on and see what happens.
Stay in the business and decide to hang on until you see results.
The reason I tell others, after identifying a business idea, ensure it’s something you have passion about.
Because that passion drives you to want the results.
Passion makes you want to be the best.
So, be realistic, do you love the elders? Do you see yourself running a business surrounding them?
Or is an elder care business an idea you learnt from someone else and thought, ‘there’s money there?’. Then jumped right in?
After jumping right in, it wasn’t a cash cow you envisioned and involved more work than ever? Ever heard of the saying, good great business ideas rot away each year at the cemetery?
Don’t give up when you begin and don’t get afraid to change.
Want to be a part of my YouTube classes where I help youths startup entrepreneurs to succeed? The classes are free!
2. Exceptional customer service is necessary don’t skimp on customer excellence
This is a service business.
3. Get an education
Dealing with elders is more than compassion. You need to understand and Psychology offers this understanding.
You may take additional sociology classes to understand how backgrounds affect the elders.
4. Get experience
Work in an elder care facility to see how the workflow. It’s not a one-focus role in the elder homes.
Meaning, elders go to care facilities for various reasons, to get first-class recovery centres, because kids live in different towns or outside the country, or were neglected.
5. Be Prepared
Everything in an elder care home is learning and learning something new daily.
Some elders come from a place of neglect and won’t understand why you care so much.
They may yell, chase or throw tantrums, kinda like dealing with kids. You want to always show respect or train your workers to show respect.
After all, we MUST and were taught to respect our elders. Be slow to anger but quick to action.
Learn to see what doesn’t work and change it fast.
6. Empathetic caregiver
If you are a caregiver with a loose mouth at the elders, you won’t last long.
Elders love to report no matter how you may try to silence them.
Put yourself in the place of an elder, or imagine yourself 30 or 40 years needing the services in an elderly home.
7. A great listener
You cannot run a home-based care facility and be a bad listener.
You must pay attention not to the spoken words only but to the unspoken too. You want the elders to recognise that you care, if they ask for a change and it’s something you can do, go for it.
FAQs About Running a Successful Home-based Elderly Care in Kenya, Answered
There are some commonly asked questions about starting home-based elder care in Kenya. Some of the questions include:
What services do seniors need the most?
Most seniors are between the age of 65 and above living in their home or in a care facility.
Seniors need help with activities like cleaning, reminders (medical), grocery shopping, going to hospitals for a checkup or physical therapy. They may also need companionship like playing cards, reading
How do I start an elder care business?
Begin an elder care facility by researching the market and the need in your area.
Senior care facilities are in abundance in Nairobi doesn’t mean other counties don’t have seniors.
Then ask what services will you offer and how much will you charge for your services to make a profit.
What are some rewarding activities for seniors?
The most rewarding senior activity is companionship from other seniors. Seniors love to talk about themselves to others who understand them.
What is a good business to start after retirement?
A good business to begin after retirement is of course travel, kidding. It’s investing in yourself first and appreciating how time passes, first.
Then, look into the amount of strength in your body, combine with a hobby and a need. I’d say beginning an elder care facility comes first position, gardening and investments.
A senior could write a book/memoir about their lives. You need an activity which doesn’t drain you but adds to your powers, so a passionate project.
Is a homecare business profitable in Kenya?
Yes, a home care business is a profitable business in Kenya.
The Kenyan market grows every day with educated Kenyans behaving like the Westerners having studied abroad.
So, they want to live stress-free by giving their parents the best they can afford. Market your homecare business and live up to your promises.
How do home care companies get clients?
By marketing and networking. If you provide exceptional service to one homecare customer, they spread the message like bushfire.
How much do caregivers in seniors home get paid?
The senior home providers pay depends on a number of factors. How many customers do you have?
The services the senior home provides and the amount charged. Pay ranges from a few thousand to a couple hundred thousand (shillings), of course. Depends on the boss!
Who hires senior home care providers?
Wealthy Kenyans and wealthy seniors.
Let’s be honest, a lot of youths don’t take their parents to homecare facilities because they’re afraid of how society will take it.
Plus, you know African parents don’t like showing their weakness/ageing preferring to stay in their houses.
Some youths neglect their parents saying, ‘they nag too much’.
Why is there an increase in seniors homes?
Because it’s no longer a stigma to having parents cared for by someone else if you have a busy job.
Plus, hiring a ‘nanny’ doesn’t cut it for seniors, some want specialised care.
Plus, Kenyan youths are millionaires making them realise the importance of healthcare not for them and their kids but for the parents or grandparents.
What’s the difference between in-home healthcare and non-medical home care?
In-home healthcare requires medically trained workers like nurses while non-medical is about reminders to take medication/ attend therapies. The non-medical cannot administer drugs to the seniors.
Can you work parttime in a senior home?
Yes, you can work part-time because the roles opened are mostly part-time unless your facility cares for older seniors needing 24/7 care.
Or if you’re specialised medical personnel like a nurse, you expect calls anytime. A nice supplemental income, however, working in a senior home.
I have never been a senior home care providers but I’m interested in what are the requirements? Do I need special training when beginning senior home care?
Yes, you need soft skills like empathy and compassion. Also, you need to have the heart of a caregiver.
Have you ever taken care of a child? They mess up, anger you but you love them. That’s what a seniors job is about.
So, go for it. It’s a rewarding job. This is one of those jobs which you go to because, well, you love the rewards.
The recommended skills in running a home care facility include common sense
Working or running an eldercare facility is more than a business. It requires a lot of understanding and honesty.
You cannot be a dishonest person working with seniors, they won’t love you, plus they see your heart, literally.
The biggest reminder I give when working in a seniors home is to treat them as you’d love to get treated when you reach that age.
You may get requests to help a family whose member isn’t old but needs medical attention 24/7.
Have in-house workers who are on call every single day.
Have your staff trained in providing the best service to customers and their parents?
You must have a keen ear, listen to what’s being said and what’s missing. Pay attention.
A senior care business apart from the millions you will make is an extreme service business that depends on the word of mouth marketing.
You want your customers to hype about you.
Do you plan on beginning an elder care business in Kenya?