Millions of Americans are juggling the everyday demands of home and work, and in many cases, they’re taking care of their ill, disabled, or aging loved ones. This can take a toll both emotionally and physically, which is why many choose to work with a home health care provider. If you’re interested in starting your own home health care business, then you need to be aware of the challenges that you’ll likely face in the industry. You should also know what website design and marketing strategies will help you to appeal to your target audience.
5 Challenges the Home Health Care Faces
Home health care is a thriving industry. However, there are a few obstacles that every business has to deal with. Let’s discuss five of the most common.
1. Technology Advancements
The good news is that the old and outdated systems that were once common in the home health care industry are now being replaced with new, updated systems. The bad news is that it can be challenging to keep up with these changes. A lot of businesses are having to deal with the learning curve that comes with using new equipment. And this often takes a significant amount of time and money.
2. Locating Qualified Staff
Though the demand for home healthcare workers is constantly increasing, the pool of qualified workers isn’t able to keep up. Research shows that there are currently more than a million home health aides that are in the process of entering the job marketplace–making it one of the fastest-growing fields in the U.S. However, these qualified applicants aren’t necessarily being evenly distributed. Most seek employment on the East and West Coast, which leaves a huge gap in between.
3. Keeping Qualified Staff
Not only is there a problem when it comes to finding qualified aides, but also keeping them. And this is usually a matter of financial compensation. Research has shown that almost half of all home aides live below or at the poverty line. In fact, it’s been reported that many of these individuals make less than minimum wage and must rely on government benefits. Agencies are often not able to afford to pay more.
4. Certification and Regulations
There’s often confusion over what home aides can and can’t do due to certification. Not all aides are certified. Many have only been through non-standardized training programs. In many instances, these aides are only qualified to help seniors with daily activities such as dressing, meals, medication reminders, and housekeeping. As a result, there’s been a push for regulations in private and government agencies and organizations.
5. Increasing Demand
It’s estimated that by the end of 2020, 17% of the U.S. population will be older than 65. This means that a large portion of society will be heavily reliant on the healthcare industry. And many of these individuals plan to stay in their homes as they age. The demand can be hard to keep up with.
7 Things a Home Health Care Website Should Include
If you want to ensure that you reach as many people as possible, then it’s important that you advertise your services online. Specifically, you need to design a website that caters to your audience. Below are seven essential elements that you should include in your design:
1. Care Services
Your website should include a Care Services section. This page should list all of the services that your home aide will provide. For instance, will your aides help with meal prep? Do they do the laundry? What about housekeeping? Will they run errands for the patient such as grocery shopping and prescription pick-up? Do your aides remind patients when it’s time to take their medication?
If you want to gain your audience’s trust, then you have to share as much about your business as possible. Your About page should include things such as your mission statement. It should discuss your vision. Talk about your company’s philosophy and what approach you take to hiring aides. Discuss topics that are related to integrity such as accountability, honesty, and problem resolution.
If you want to ensure that your visitors are able to find the answers they need then you should include a Resources page. Your resources page may contain links to health care associations. You may link to the department of health. Your Resource page may also provide information. For instance, you may offer tips for choosing the right health care provider. You may offer advice on the signs that it’s time to hire a home health care aide.
There’s always a chance that your visitors could have questions and concerns that they don’t immediately see addressed on your website. That’s why it’s a good idea to include an FAQ section. This is where you can answer the most common questions. For instance, what is the average cost of your services? Do you charge by the hour or on a monthly basis? What are your working hours? How do you ensure confidentiality?
Would you like to build credibility with your audience? Well, one of the easiest ways to do this is with testimonials. Speak with the families of your patients and ask them to offer a review for your website. How has your agency made a difference in the life of your loved one? How has it made a difference in the life of their primary caretaker?
If you want to add a personal touch to your website, you should include photos of your staff and patients. This gives your visitors an idea of the type of care you offer. It also helps people to associate your services with friendly and caring faces.
One of the most important elements that you should incorporate into your website is a Contact page. Your visitors need to know exactly where you’re located, your phone number, and email address. This page may also feature a form that they can use in order to submit their question or request directly. This way, they can communicate with you without ever having to leave your website. Your contact information can also be displayed in the header and footer of your website.
Admittedly, a home health care business requires a lot of work and dedication. And you must be willing to invest a significant amount of time into hiring staff members that are qualified and able to learn quickly. But luckily, these types of services are always in demand. As long as you establish a strong presence online, you should have access to a never-ending flow of new clients.