Perhaps you fit this mold: You do only high-end work or period restorations and target the affluent, or some similar market segment. Or you focus on a specific line of business such as refinishing cabinets or bath fixtures; installing closet organizers, gutter toppers, etc.
But, in the U.S., the swelling of the 60-plus age group — especially the 80-plus market segment — presents a new opportunity for remodelers to develop a business serving a demographic segment whose members have more in common than just the size of their pocketbooks.
“Aging-in-place” and “aging-in-community” are popular concepts these days. Simply put, they describe the desire of many senior Americans to remain in their own homes and continue to be active within their communities as they age, rather than moving to an assisted living/care facility. AARP indicates that about 90% of seniors feel this way.
To support this desire, the home health and home care industries have grown rapidly, providing assistance to individuals and families who have lost much of the ability to care for themselves. But despite the wish to remain independent and the availability of care services, little has been done to alter the way we design and maintain the built environment. Herein lies the opportunity.
SPECIFIC APPROACH Building an aging-in-place-focused remodeling business starts with the basic components that characterize any successful remodeling company, such as strong project estimation tools and timely, accurate financial reporting. But if you want to build your business to truly serve the senior homeowner, you need much more:
It also helps to understand the effects of common health complications associated with aging — not just visual impairments such as glaucoma, but other conditions that can develop or worsen with age such as diabetes, MS, and dementia. There are things remodelers can do in the home to help clients living with these conditions. (Visit www.homemods.org for information.)