How do I Start an Elderly Care Business?

Updated April 14, 2017

Elderly care homes can provide a helpful and comfortable alternative for ageing loved ones while helping to ease the burden on families and medical services. Also, as an alternative to going to an assisted-care facility, many services can be provided in the senior citizen's home. It is important that the personal care needs of the elderly are well understood. Whether caring for a senior citizen in his home or at your own assisted care facility, rules and regulations regarding safety in the care of elderly citizens may vary from state to state.

Decide on the type of service you would like to provide. Services can include physiotherapy, taking care of the activities of daily living such as assistance with dressing, personal hygiene, shopping and cleaning. These services can be provided within the home of individual or in an elderly care home setting.

Create a business plan based on the services you intend to provide. Draw up cash-flow projections based on extensive market research to ensure that your business idea is viable for the long term.

Check your state laws on running an elderly care business. Contact your state Department of Social Services/Human Resources/Human Services (DSS) to find out what the legal requirements are for your state. Take the necessary steps to apply for a license to run a senior care business. Go to the county seat or local city hall to apply for your business license. Apply for a municipal business license from the local zoning board.

Check that all of your employees are fully licensed to provide the type of service your business promises to deliver. Show proof of certifications and practice licenses for you and your employees before setting up business. Also have proof that all employees and you have passed criminal record checks.

Apply for Medicaid/Medicare certification through the government website. To be able to accept Medicare and Medicaid clients and receive payment, you must hold the required certification. To qualify for the application, your business must meet all of the federal requirements for patient care and you must hold a state license from the DSS.

Consult a certified public accountant to help you to establish the proper accounting systems required by federal and state law for a personal-care business. Ensure that your accounting system includes the ability to account for all new business, including Medicare/Medicaid patients, private patients and insurance-referred patients. Ensure that the accounting procedures for employees fully comply with state and federal laws, including taxes for employees, and that any contractors meet IRS and state tax authority standards.

Apply for an employer identification number if you will be employing staff.

Register the business with state tax authorities as well as the IRS.

Apply for business and liability insurance relevant to the senior care business.

Attend mandatory retraining sessions if required to do so by your DSS. The DSS will inform you of the time and location of such retraining sessions for you and your staff.

Market your business within your local community. Place advertisements and flyers in newspapers, at local shops, halls and churches. Request permission to place flyers in rehab centres and hospital and doctors' waiting rooms.

Get a review rating by The Joint Commission. Many patients and their family members rely on ratings by The Joint Commission to make informed decisions about health-care related businesses.

Things You'll Need

  • Internet connection
  • Telephone
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About the Author

Adelaide Damoah has been writing since 1995. Her work appears on eHow and she has experience with academic writing, web content, newsletters and news releases. Her expertise includes health and art. Damoah holds a Bachelor of Science in applied biology from Kingston University.