In-home care provider for seniors eyeing Norwich-New London area

A franchisor of in-home services for seniors and the disabled is targeting the Norwich-New London area, where nearly 18 percent of the population is 65 and older.

“It’s one of the last areas (in Connecticut) where we don’t have a presence,” said Eric Little, chief development officer of Right At Home, an Omaha, Neb.-based company that opened its first franchise in the state in 2006 and recently signed a deal with a franchisee who's expected to open an Old Saybrook location in two to three months.

Right At Home franchisees typically employ 50 to 100 part-time caregivers who provide such services as cooking, cleaning and help with hygiene, and stay overnight, if necessary, enabling clients to live at home.

Founded in 1995, the company has franchises in all 50 states and seven foreign countries. Its 500 U.S. locations can be found in 184 of the more than 300 Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the country.

“Up until now, we’ve had plenty of open territory, but now we’re starting to target more specifically,” Little said.

While 15 percent of the U.S. population is 65 and older, the percentage is 17.8 percent in the Norwich-New London area, he said, citing data similar to that reported elsewhere. In a 2017 analysis of Connecticut’s senior population, the state Office of Legislative Research pointed to census data listing 17.1 percent of New London County’s population as 65 and older.

And for companies like Right At Home, the market’s only going to grow, Little said.

“We’re less than three years from the oldest baby boomers (those born in 1946) turning 75,” he said. “We've mostly been taking care of people over 75 — the parents of the baby boomers. We want to position the company for when we start caring for the boomers themselves.”

Little said potential franchisees don’t need to have health-care experience because the company will train them. But, he said, they should be motivated by a desire to “do something that makes a difference” in the lives of others.

He said he trademarked the Right At Home slogan: “Success With Significance.”

Potential franchisees should have some management experience as well as access to $150,000 in capital to get started. Right At Home researches candidates for 60 to 90 days, puts them through two weeks of training in Omaha and thereafter provides “business coaching.”

The company is ranked No. 1 in Forbes magazine’s 2018 ranking of franchises requiring an investment of less than $150,000, and it's the highest-ranked senior care franchise opportunity on Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 list, coming in at No. 49 overall.

b.hallenbeck@theday.com

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