How do I start a home business caring for elderly people?

Updated February 21, 2017

Providing in-home care for elderly people can be a lucrative business venture for an aspiring entrepreneur experienced in senior and/or home health care. The United States' Bureau of Labor and Statistics recorded the 2007 average salary for an elderly or disabled home health care managerial provider was over £53,950 per year, as reported by US News & World Report. Starting an in-home elderly care or senior companion business can be accomplished in a matter of months with a few preparatory steps.

Locate areas that most need elderly in-home care. Using the United States' Census Bureau's website, locate places in your specific locality that have the largest population of senior citizens. In addition, look through local publications such as real estate magazines and newspapers for retirement communities that are advertising properties for sale. These sources will help you locate which areas may be in need of in-home elderly care.

Obtain a business license. Contact your state's health care administration and your state's division of corporations or professional regulation department and ask what licenses are needed to operate an in-home elderly care agency and how to apply for those licenses. If you are providing only companion care as opposed to in-home health care, your agency may not need a license.

Take out a surety bond. Most states will require a substantial surety bond to operate any type of health care agency or home health care business. A surety bond is a form of insurance which guarantees your in-home elderly health care business will act in legal accordance with state laws. For instance, the state of Florida requires a minimum £325,000 surety bond. However, if you are only providing companion services, your business may not need such a substantial surety bond.

Get business financing. Your in-home elderly care business will need start-up and initial operating capital. Find financing sources via the Small Business Administration's website, which lists approved business loan providers. Use the SBA resources to educate yourself about obtaining and applying for a business loan.

Insure your in-home elderly care business. Phone a licensed insurance broker in your state and ask what type of insurance your in-home elderly care agency will need to protect itself from liability. Your agency should carry malpractice insurance and liability insurance. Inquire about insuring an elderly in-home companion service if you are not providing health care.

Become an approved Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance provider. Contact your state's Medicare agency and ask for an application to become an approved Medicare and Medicaid provider. Also contact the major private insurance companies in your state and ask how to become a network provider.

Find professional office space to lease. Your in-home elderly care business will need office space to accommodate a small office staff, a conference room for initial consultations, and an office for yourself.

Hire service providers. Your in-home elderly care business will need licensed health care practitioners such as certified nursing assistants (CNA's), licensed practical nurses (LPN's), and registered nurses (RN's). Phone health care staffing agencies and ask about employing in-home health care practitioners. In the alternative, if you are only offering senior companion services, you may advertise for volunteers in local publications.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Owen Richason grew up working in his family's small contracting business. He later became an outplacement consultant, then a retail business consultant. Richason is a former personal finance and business writer for "Tampa Bay Business and Financier." He now writes for various publications, websites and blogs.