A major provider of in-home senior care is opening its franchise doors in Canada, but the expansion may be just the tip of the iceberg for the company, which plans to expand to other countries in the coming years.
Established in 2002, Timmonium, Maryland-based Senior Helpers has over 270 franchises business operating across the country, as well as 13 locations in Australia. The company provides in-home personal care and companion services including trained Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Parkinson’s care.
Senior Helpers partnered with Stonewood Equity Fund I, a husband and wife team in Canada, to be owners of the franchise. The couple will remain as the sole owners and will eventually start looking to develop individual franchisees, Amy Petersen-Smith, vice president of international development at Senior Helpers, explained to Home Health Care News.
The first franchise in Canada opened earlier this month in the Durham Region and will eventually serve the greater Toronto area. Expanding to Canada was the logical next step for Senior Helpers after expanding to Australia in 2011, Petersen-Smith said.
“I don’t really foresee any huge issues with the expansion [to Canada],” Petersen-Smith said. “Aging really has no borders. Whether someone lives here or in Canada, they are dealing with the same issues. It was the next step after Australia since Canada is another english-speaking country, which means we can easily give extra support, if necessary.”
The only challenge that comes with expanding anywhere is making sure the company can hold onto the number of employees at all of the franchises that is necessary to care for patients.
“Finding enough caregivers to provide the services that elders need is going to be a big challenge, globally,” Petersen-Smith says. “The population is aging much faster than the speed that we can produce quality caregivers.”
Senior Helpers plans to grow to more than 60 locations in Canada in the next 10 years. Even more, the company has plans to expand to South Africa, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Asia in the coming years.
“We are in close negotiation with a couple in South Africa,” says Petersen-Smith. “South Africa will probably be our next move then Asia in 2017.”
Written by Alana Stramowski