Two former Home Helpers franchisees are launching Elder-Well, what they call a first-to-market franchise in which owners offer an adult day program for seniors in their own homes or in leased single-family homes or commercial buildings.
Investment to get started ranges from $61,800 to $149,200, said co-founders Ken and Kara Harvey, but no financials are available because no Elder-Well unit exists yet. “We did have a corporate unit and we suspended the operation to go full-time in developing the franchise model,” said Ken Harvey, who also sold his aging-in-place remodeling business to launch the new franchise.
“In our model, one caregiver can care for up to six people,” he added, vs. the one-to-one ratio in homecare services. “The cost to send someone to our place for the day is roughly half the cost of having a caregiver from home care.”
Daily fees are charged, working out to be $14 to $19 an hour depending on the number of days used. “We have other multiple revenue streams for franchisees,” added Kara Harvey, CEO, such as charges for medication reminders, extra dementia care, personal care assistance and long-term care placement.
Kara Harvey said their experience at Home Helpers taught them how to be franchisors. “It was a positive experience. With the support and training, it allowed us to grow that business rapidly,” she said. “Just having that sense of being part of a team—it was great and I want to do that for our future franchisees, be able to support them and give them all our knowledge.”
The Harveys have retained Kathleen Kuhn, who heads up the HouseMaster and PatchMaster franchises, as a franchise adviser. “I’ve known Ken and Kara personally for many years, and I knew them as business owners and I knew them as franchisees and they were very successful,” she said. “When they decided to roll out their business model, my franchise gene kicks in.”
Kuhn likes the low-cost model and the Harveys’ deep knowledge of the space. “It could actually be better for the senior and less expensive for the senior, than even having an in-home caregiver. I just think it’s a win-win formula,” she said.
Although many franchised home healthcare services compete for clients—the Franchise Times Top 200+ includes 15 of them in its annual ranking—the Harveys say Elder-Well would be the first franchised adult day program with a social-supportive model, meaning the social well-being of clients, not their medical needs, is the focus and services are provided in a home rather than an institution.