Bickford Senior Living Capitalizes on Elderly Care Trends and Launches Home Care Business with HCAN

Bickford Senior Living enters the home care space with the launch of Bickford Home Care. To achieve this, the operator of retirement homes has partnered with the HomeCare Advocacy Network (HCAN).

Founded in 1992, Bickford Senior Living, based in Olathe, Kansas, provides care to more than 3,000 residents in 65 locations.

Meanwhile, HCAN is an Omaha, Nebraska-based franchise group for senior residential service providers.

The company, which operates on a white-label business approach, is helping seniors’ residence service providers enter the home care industry. The company also helps senior housing providers obtain licenses to operate as independently owned and operated franchises.

The expansion of home care comes as the world of older people reassesses traditional models built around collective care. Sometimes operators go into home care thinking it will be a walk in the park, but it hardly is, according to Alan Fairbanks, executive vice president of operations at Bickford Senior Living.

“Providing services like assisted living and memory care is extremely difficult,” Fairbanks told Home Health Care News. “I think, sometimes, [senior living operators] enter the home care space thinking it will be easier.

Bickford Home Care will primarily provide paid personal care services. Examples include housekeeping, cooking, and dementia care services, as well as company and transportation assistance.

The home care company will initially operate at two sites in Chicago and one in the Cedar Rapids-Iowa City area. It will also be launched with a location in the Muscatine-Quad Cities market.

As part of this partnership, HCAN will provide training, structure and systems to support Bickford Home Care. In turn, Bickford Home Care will be responsible for staffing its own operations – often the most difficult aspect of running a home care business.

In launching Bickford Home Care, it was important to team up with an organization as seasoned as HCAN, explained Fairbanks.

“They have a lot of home care experience and, in my opinion, I think that’s what operators of retirement homes need,” he said. “A lot of operators have tried to do this, and it hasn’t always gone well for them.”

Among the things it brings, HCAN provides ongoing business support, a start-up assistant, and coaching services. The network is led by President and CEO Mark Goetz, who previously worked as an executive at Frederick, Md., Nonprofit, Asbury Communities.

“[Our services help] eliminate decision making that could lead to failure, ”Goetz told HHCN. “[Decisionmaking that] led to failure when organizations tried to do it “on their own”.

In the first year, HCAN provides clients with 15 to 20 days of hands-on, hands-on support, through franchise trainings, operational visits and ‘train the trainer’ sessions, which help companies launch new businesses. training courses for caregivers that take place within their home care businesses.

HCAN franchisees pay a one-time franchise fee of $ 45,000, which covers a portion of the costs of selling the business and up-front operating costs, Goetz told Senior Housing News. The organization also levies a 7% royalty on growth beyond the initial business.

When it comes to decisions that lead to failure, common mistakes include inappropriate prices and wages, according to Goetz. Other mistakes include choosing the wrong systems and a general lack of management support.

Additionally, senior service providers can sometimes underestimate how difficult it is to run a home care business.

“I don’t think it’s any easier,” Fairbanks said. “I think any time you are involved in providing care to the elderly, it is a tough business. ”

With that in mind, Fairbanks advises senior housing providers to conduct the appropriate amount of market research to identify what makes sense for their business.

To ensure success, Fairbanks began to shift much of its day-to-day focus from operations from Bickford Senior Living to Bickford Home Care.

For Bickford Senior Living, the launch of Bickford Home Care was a natural progression for the business.

“It just feels like it fits really well into the ecosystem of what we’re doing,” Fairbanks said. “We enter into a relationship with individuals earlier in the process. Our goal at Bickford Home Care is to keep them at home, but if there comes a time when they need other services, we are already in touch with them. We are able to help them make the best possible decision about the next step. “

The launch of Bickford Home Care is part of the broader trends observed by HCAN in the senior living industry.

“The world of seniors seems to be waking up to home care and they need to do something not to be caught off guard,” Goetz said. “There is a thirst in the industry to provide successful home care services – and not just assign home care duties to a member of their team, but to manage them as an agency. local and competitive home care.

Many operators have started prioritizing home care due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet much of it had been doing so for years, suggests research from aging advocacy organization LeadingAge and Ziegler Healthcare Investment Banking.

In fact, more than half of the largest nonprofit retirement home organizations in the United States offer some sort of home and community-based service (HCBS), according to their LZ 200 list. The most common offering (HCBS) is generally the most common offer, although operators of retirement homes are also starting to provide home health, adult day care and home CPRC services more frequently.

In light of the COVID-19 emergency, Goetz believes senior housing providers have the option of having a larger agency when it comes to their business.

“We give Bickford a lot of credit,” he said. “Their vision merged with ours. Their mindset was, “Let’s stop worrying about how, if we launch home care services, our occupation will be affected,” he said. “There are already 50 home care providers on the market. They are competing with you for occupation now, so why not have yours [agency] and better control your own continuum of care for current and future residents? “

Currently, HCAN is working with five other providers of senior residences to launch home care business lines.

As for Bickford Home Care, the company is expected to officially start providing services in July.

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