Paul and Lori Hogan started their business Home Instead Senior Care from the dining room table of Paul’s mother’s home in 1994. It is now the largest senior care franchise in the world with over 1000 franchises serving 70,000 clients.
Paul Hogan took time to answer our questions about his company’s role in the elderly care industry:
You saw a need for in-home health care for the elderly over 20 years ago. What was missing in this industry and how did Home Instead Senior Care fulfill that gap?
We started Home Instead Senior Care as a result of my family’s personal experience in caring for my grandmother. We all began to see her health was failing, so my mom and her siblings held a family meeting to discuss how to take care of Grandma for what we all believed to be her last year of life. All of the siblings agreed that they didn’t want to have Grandma go to a nursing home, so my mom offered to have my grandmother move in with her. Everyone agreed to help “chip in” to take care of her.
Grandma enjoyed living with my mom and experienced a great turnaround. She was more socially engaged and began to eat more. As a result, she regained her strength, and quite frankly, her will to live. She got to the point where she would walk herself to church when the weather was nice.
My family’s experience with my grandmother was rewarding. Grandma had 12 children, 50 grandchildren and 51 great grandchildren. But it made my wife Lori and I wonder what other families would do when their senior loved one needed care and they didn’t have such a large family.
My family’s experience with my grandmother showed us that you didn’t need to be a doctor or a nurse to have a positive impact on the life of a senior.
When we started Home Instead Senior Care, there were really only two care options: move your senior loved one in to your home or a nursing home. One of the great things about being a senior today is that there has been a wonderful proliferation of care options ranging from home care and home health to assisted living, skilled nursing facilities and hospice and palliative care (there are many more options as well). And today, our franchise owners partner with these types of facilities and agencies to make sure seniors receive the best care.
How did you grow your business from Paul's mother's home in Omaha, Nebraska to the largest senior care franchise in the world?
Our people. We have an amazing group of franchise owners and international partners who are supported by a dedicated team at the home office that is second to none. Our franchise owners rate the support they receive as outstanding. The CAREGivers are compassionate and provide great care to the seniors they serve. We recently did a survey, and found that oftentimes, families rate the care provided by Home Instead Senior Care higher than the care provided by the family.
We are about to have our elderly population double in the next few years. How will this country deal with that? Does the timing make this an advantageous time to enter into the senior care industry?
The number of care options will for seniors will continue to grow and more care will be provided in homes. Governments have limited resources, so moving forward, there needs to be more partnerships between governments, non-profits and private business. The oldest boomer is only 68 years old and our average client is about 78 -- we are still in the early stages of the business opportunity.
You are considered experts in both franchising and aging issues. What are the benefits of franchising a business like this?
When a lot of people think of franchising, they think of restaurants, but it is actually a terrific model for home care. Our franchise owners are active in their communities, and I have always believed in locally owned businesses. At the same time, our local franchise owners get to tap in to what we call the “collective knowledge” of a franchise network that will provide more than 60 million hours of care in 16 countries this year. The knowledge, standards and best practices we develop around the world help our franchise owners provide the highest-quality care to seniors in their communities.
Tell us about your goals in partnering with the University of Nebraska Medical Center to serve as anchor donors for the Home Instead Center for Successful Aging.
Lori and I have always believed in giving back. The University of Nebraska Medical Center is admired around the world for its Geriatrics Division. We felt it was important for us to partner with a team that would help us make sure our training programs, public education programs and community outreach initiatives are innovative and enable seniors and their families to live better lives.
How do you weave your personal faith into the values of your company? Why is that important?
When we started Home Instead Senior Care, we wanted to make sure people know who we are and what we stand for. The core values are:
To honor God in all we do.
To treat each other with dignity and respect.
To encourage growth in ourselves and others.
To build value in our service to others.
These core values served as the foundation for our business and are a large part of our culture today.
How do you help your clients make what could be a very difficult decision to provide care for an elderly family member?
Caring for a senior loved one is difficult, but it is also very rewarding. It’s important for families to plan and be proactive. We make it a priority to create resources to support for family caregivers and offer them free of charge in-person and online.
We have created a number of free resources for people caring for individuals with dementia.
What advice would you give someone who is interested in entering the senior care field?
It’s a great business opportunity and, at the same time, a great way to make a difference in the life of a senior and their families.
Would you recommend special training for these people?
Our franchise owners come from many walks of life – some from the healthcare field, school teachers, business executives, just to name a few. The most important things we look for are people with a heart to help seniors and their families along with an ability to manage people.
What's been the most rewarding part of your careers?
We’ve been extremely blessed to see the positive impact our franchise owners and their CAREGivers have on the lives of seniors and their families.
Home Instead Senior Care have franchise opportunities throught the UK. Click here for more information.