September 17, 2011

CANADA: Business jumps on the aging boomer bandwagon

VANCOUVER / The Vancouver Sun / Life / September 17, 2011

By Kelly Sinoski, Vancouver Sun

Granny nannies, home-moving companies and scooter sellers are seeing business boom as a result of British Columbia's rapidly aging population. Illustrative photo by courtesy of Ben Forsberg_

Companies like Home2Home, Changing Places and Daybreak Home Transition for Seniors specialize in transitional services for seniors getting rid of treasured mementoes and leaving social networks as they move to smaller quarters, often in other communities.

Nurse Next Door Professional Home Healthcare Services does everything from making meals and taking seniors for walks to 24-hour and palliative care.

Transportation company Driving Miss Daisy takes seniors to medical appointments, on grocery or personal shopping trips, and to programs and dialysis appointments.

"There's a lot more demand for choice now," said Arif Abdulla, marketing manager for Nurse Next Door. "As people age they want to be at home."

Seniors, home care and related consumer services have consistently ranked in the Top 5 fastest-growing franchise sectors, according to the Canadian Franchise Association.

Seniors and home care - along with education and tutoring and "fast-casual" healthy quick-serve restaurants - are among the fastest-growing areas within franchising, said Perry Maisonneuve, founder and principal of Northern Lights Consultants in Mississauga, Ont.

"The highest-growth area in franchising is service-based businesses . and anything to do with the aging demographic," Maisonneuve said.

Other businesses jumping on the bandwagon include those providing cleaning services, lawn-cutting or massage therapy.

Grocery deliveries and shopping online are also popular among seniors, said Holly Tuokko, of the University of Victoria's Centre on Aging. "These are the kinds of things businesses need to be thinking about."

ksinoski@vancouversun.com

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