Many retirees are saving and investing more in their old age and looking for nursing homes with higher standards and better conditions. As the number of dementia patients continues to rise, there is a growing demand for specialist nursing and frail care facilities across the country.
Facts and figures
- Life-expectancy is increasing, with a prediction of 7 million elderly people by 2030
- Approximately 80% of South Africans use public healthcare; the wealthier 20% opt for private services
- 8 million people aged 65 and over will need nursing and social care by 2025; an increase of 15% since 2015
- The number of centenarians is predicted to increase six-fold in the next 25 years; one in 12 people will be aged 80 or above
- Home care services are becoming increasingly popular, keeping hospital costs low and patient morale high
There are several different care services on offer depending on the level of care a patient may need and their financial budget. Options include nursing homes, home care, retirement villages and specialist care facilities providing support for residents with dementia or other diseases.
If you’re planning to buy an established care home as opposed to setting up your own business from scratch, you should be very thorough during the due diligence process. It’s very difficult and expensive to improve a care home with negative ratings, low referrals and a bad reputation.
There is a strong demand for more care homes and home-based services; the Eastern Cape and Northern Cape have the highest ageing populations in South Africa. Improvements must be made in healthcare, security and well-being to offer patients a better quality of life in old age.
To be a successful nursing homeowner, you need to be compassionate and have a genuine desire to provide a high level of care to your patients. Residents will need to feel comfortable and build good relationships with staff, and some may be wary about moving from their home.
You need to have excellent communication skills and be personable yet professional. Most of your residents will be elderly and in the latter stages of their life so be prepared to report deaths and deterioration of health to patient’s family and friends; this can be difficult for many people.
You will need to recruit and train your employees to have excellent care and nursing skills; your team will be the backbone of your care homes success. Without a diligent, affectionate, loyal, hardworking team you will struggle to maintain high ratings and a good reputation in the sector.
Facilities and classes
The amenities you offer to your clients and the rating your care home receives from industry bodies will also determine the fee you can charge to your guests. You should make sure all the equipment in your care home is serviced and fix any broken machinery, fixtures and fittings.
You should offer your residents weekly classes, such as meditation or chess competitions. Try to focus on activities that can involve immobile patients and offer classes to help keep an elderly person’s mind active and stimulated. It’s important your clients are entertained and motivated.
If you plan to offer frail care for dementia sufferers, you will need to include 24-hour nursing service. The typical monthly expense for a resident in an upmarket retirement village with frail care is roughly R60 000. The increase in dementia highlights the demand for these services.