With an aging population and more wealthy pensioners than ever before, senior care is a rapidly growing industry across the USA. Demand will continue to grow over the coming years, so could now be the perfect time to invest in that old property and convert it into a bespoke assisted living facility, to give something back to the community and at the same time provide a viable income for yourself?
The statistics relating to the assisted living industry certainly suggest that the answer is yes. There are currently around one million Americans living in assisted care facilities, and this number is expected to double over the next 15 years. As is the case with most aspects of 21st century living, senior citizens look ever more at taking control over how they spend their retirement years.
Converting a property into an assisted living facility can certainly yield big rewards, as long as you bear the following key points in mind:
Supply and demand
Like any business proposition, you first need to be sure that there is a demand for what you plan to offer. Just because there is a growing need nationwide, you need to understand the market dynamics in your local area.
The last thing you want to do is spend your life savings creating an assisted living home if there are others in the neighborhood that are only half full.
Carry out research by visiting other facilities and talking to local referral sources.
Practically all assisted living facilities are state regulated. These regulations dictate how you go about obtaining a license and also set out a whole list of requirements for the property. They also give the rules you have to follow in operating the facility.
Learn all that there is to know about each state’s specific regulations for assisted living before you begin.
Contact your local zoning department at the earliest opportunity to get a picture of the zoning regulations for an assisted living home. The fact is that some cities make it easier than others.
Fair Housing laws often dictate the permitted location and size of an assisted living facility.
You also need to think about building codes. Each local municipality will have its own requirements relating to health and safety, hygiene and numerous other factors.
Here you will learn exactly what you need to have in place, and it could have a major impact on the financial viability of the project. For example, will you need to install additional fire escapes? Or perhaps they insist on a commercial kitchen?
It’s good to talk
Finally, you can read through all the rule books in the world, but they will not tell you half of what you need to know. To understand the realities of the industry, it is essential to build up a network of contacts who have been there and done it.
That means joining trade associations and online communities. These are the people who can truly tell you what to do and what to avoid in order to make the business a success.