For people over the age of 60, retirement is usually just around the corner, and the prospect of finally being able to relax is a much needed and deserved permanent reprieve. However, with a global health crisis forcing many out of work and leaving employers with massive turnover, previously retired individuals are returning to work in droves. Economists call this “unretirement,” a term used to describe those who retire and then rejoin the workforce for one reason or another.
RAND Corporation published a survey that found 40% of workers over 65 had retired and then began working again. Harvard Medical School economist Nicole Maestas told the New York Times that the decision to “unretire” is an easier choice than it once was because careers are less taxing, people are living longer, and they are more health-conscious.
So, what does this mean for senior care franchises?
COVID-19 and The Great Exodus
As one of the most underappreciated and overlooked segments in healthcare, in-home care services usually involve non-medical strategies to care for aging individuals. Since the news broke of COVID-19, the healthcare industry has struggled to meet client demand while protecting frontline workers.
The endeavor proved challenging, as many were compelled to exit the field in lieu of contracting a deadly virus, while others were encouraged to re-enter the workforce or delay retirement. Several states, including North Dakota, Colorado, New York, and Illinois, expected essential healthcare and home care workers to return to work to control the virus’s spread. The North Dakota Board of Nursing created a rapid process that relaxed restrictions on license renewal to get “unretired” nurses into struggling facilities when needed.
Even amid a mass exodus of healthcare workers due to fear of getting sick and a difference of opinion over COVID-19 vaccinations, senior care franchisees have acquired more skilled staff compassionate about caring for the elderly population.
Some the more significant reasons “unretirees” feel more comfortable beginning a second career in senior care is because franchisors have made several adjustments that prioritize health and well-being, including:
- Virtual interviews and training
- More salary incentives to retain workers
- Better communication channels
- Peer-to-peer forums to discuss COVID-19 concerns
The Challenge of Ageism in the Workforce
Unfortunately, the home care industry has more than the pandemic to combat, with age discrimination playing a significant role in older workers leaving the workforce. Ageism has created biases that reduce productivity and cost the economy billions annually. In 2020, AARP and The Economist Intelligence Unit conducted a joint survey reporting the loss of approximately $850 billion in 2018 due to lost economic activity from older workers. Sadly, that number is expected to grow to nearly $4 trillion in the next 30 years.
For soon-to-be-retirees and “unretires” feeling stymied by corporate America, a senior care franchise opportunity awaits, providing the chance to acquire financial freedom and control work hours. In fact, the new generation of franchisees is between 55 and 64, hoping for more flexibility that isn’t readily available in their personal lives or in stifling corporate jobs.
The Benefits of Skilled “Unretired” Workers Becoming Franchisees
Historically, the home care industry has struggled to hire and retain skilled workers to fill positions in this highly complex field. Experienced and educated home caregivers returning to work usually seek purpose-driven opportunities they aren’t finding in retirement. It’s been noted that those who left unrelated careers to be a part of the senior care industry are some of the most valuable contributors to franchise brands. Similar to franchisees who are military veterans, at Homewatch CareGivers®, we believe “unretired” individuals are an asset to our franchise network because they are:
- Eager to put previous experience to good use
- Open to learning new leadership and management skills
- Already acclimated with technology and structured systems
- Enthusiastic about making a difference in their communities
A 2018 survey found that 53% of people planning to retire soon believe they’ll likely return to work. Fortunately, Homewatch CareGivers is focusing on this untapped labor sector of experienced entrepreneurs to become franchise owners.
Homewatch CareGivers Welcomes Franchisees from All Walks of Life
Despite the many challenges home health and senior care franchises face, the trend of retirees re-entering the job market will rise in the coming years. And we welcome these skilled workers, as our industry desires to retain qualified workers in response to the growing demand for dedicated caregivers and home care staff.
At Homewatch CareGivers, we want prospective franchisees with various backgrounds because we believe previous experience (regardless of the career field) can be cultivated and nurtured.
Whether you want to break away from your current career and forge something new, or you’re dissatisfied with retired life and want to make a difference in your community, a home care franchise opportunity awaits.Call (888) 718-5318 or fill out our online form to get started!