The aged care industry is steadily growing and can be a profitable, fulfilling investment, but it takes a special person to be a good fit.
If you’re thinking about entering into this sector, it’s wise to gain firsthand experience by working in an aged care facility or shadowing an established owner in the industry.
You should also complete a Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing). This course will give you a good overview of aged care and teach you the safety, legal, and ethical protocols of working with the elderly.
It’s also helpful to possess the following personality traits:
- Compassionate: You should be a friendly, patient person who enjoys socialising with elderly people and helping them with their daily tasks.
- Organised: You will need to keep detailed records of your residents as well as food and equipment inventory and orders.
- Adept multi-tasker: As an owner in this industry, you’ll be wearing many hats and will need to oversee meal preparation, staff training and support, medical assistance, and administration of daily medicines.
Finance and statistics
When it comes to financing your business venture, there are a variety of aged care facility commercial loans available.
Before approaching any lender for financing, however, it’s highly recommended that you prepare a thorough business plan including the following items unique to aged care:
- Evidence that the current facility is licensed and accredited and holds all relevant permits in accordance with government standards
- Information about the facility’s occupancy rates and cash flow status
- Number of staff planning to stay through transfer of ownership
- Description of your experience in a managerial role and within the aged care industry
In addition to seeking private financing, you should also research various grants and other sources of funding offered through the Department of Health.
For example, under certain circumstances, you can apply for the Home Care Packages Program to fund the construction, upgrade, or maintenance of an aged care facility.
Plus, this department also provides a variety of initiatives and programs to aged care providers based on the number of residents in the facility and the level of care required for each resident.
What to look for in a business
When seeking your ideal location, carefully consider the surrounding area. Most elderly people like to use public transportation to go shopping and to eat out at restaurants, so your facility should be centrally located near shops, cafés, and various medical centres.
It’s also extremely important that you evaluate the current occupancy levels. A sign of a well-run aged care facility is a high occupancy rate—ideally more than 95% year-round. The current rates will give you a good indication of the facility’s overall success and profitability.
Licences and permissions
Licences and permissions for running an aged care business vary from state to territory. It’s essential that you meet with your local council and conduct thorough research to guarantee that you meet all requirements.
Visit the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency (AACQA) to study their standards for aged care facilities. This government entity oversees the accreditation, quality review, and monitoring of aged care services, and their website provides helpful information for providers.
You can also visit the website for free compliance education, which covers a range of topics.
This is a crucial stage of the buying process in which you find out as much information as possible about the facility you’re interested in purchasing. Take time to carefully review all documents and look for any potential red flags.
Bottom line: You’re looking for transparency in all aspects of the business. If the current owner is hesitant to disclose the reason for selling or to give you any specific documents, you should be concerned.
During this investigative process, be sure to request the following items:
- Tax returns and profit and loss statements for the last three years
- Financial projections and major growth drivers
- Evidence of compliance with all licences and permits
- Description of staff hires, rotation policies, disciplinary procedures, and standards of conduct
- Marketing strategy and analysis of website traffic
- List of suppliers and vendors
- Detailed description of primary competitors
- Insurance policies and any pending claims against the property
- Condition of assets and equipment included in the sale, including date of purchase and record of maintenance and repairs
Do you have a compassionate heart for the elderly and genuinely care about improving their quality of life? If so, this industry is waiting for you to take the next step.
All the above may seem daunting, but there is a great reward for you and those you’ll care for when you venture into this fulfilling work. Feel free to explore aged care opportunities for sale in Australia.