In this exclusive Q&A, we learn about My Elder Advocate from its founder and CEO Jack Halpern.
Franchise Chatter (FC): Please explain to us what My Elder Advocate does.
Jack Halpern (JH): My Elder Advocate serves the rapidly growing elder population and fills a critical gap in the elder care industry. Instead of providing a single service like many senior care franchises, such as in-home care, My Elder Advocate is the only company that offers overarching elder care support.
Our work includes guiding families and their aging loved ones through the complex health care system, advocating for their rights and taking action to solve health crises.
Imagine a very common scenario in which a nursing home tells a resident they have to leave in 30 days. That’s called an eviction and nursing homes frequently try to force residents to leave when they become a hassle to take care of or they think they can get more money from a different type of resident. This can be a frightening experience for many families because most people aren’t familiar with nursing home regulations and don’t know their rights.
However, My Elder Advocate knows there are actually only a handful of legitimate claims nursing homes can make to evict residents. Armed with knowledge from our patent-pending execution methodology, our franchisees can step in and prevent the eviction.
That’s just one of our areas of specialization. Below is a list of the main services we provide.
- Long-term care planning
- Long distance caregiving
- Elder monitoring service
- Home care management
- Nursing homes and assisted living facility placement
- Hospital, nursing home and home crisis intervention services and nursing home eviction services
FC: What are your professional backgrounds?
JH: I have more than 41 years of experience in the elder care industry, including earning a master’s degree in Long-Term Care Administration, holding executive-level positions with nursing homes and tirelessly advocating for the rights of elders.
My passion for helping aging Americans led me to found My Elder Advocate in 2008. Since then, I have helped thousands of elders gain the best care possible, proving the need for My Elder Advocate franchises across the country.
My wife Claudine is the COO and developed our patent-pending execution methodology, which is the first technological approach to solving elder care issues. She has more than 35 years of management consultant experience, where she fixed complex technological problems for financial companies.
FC: I understand you recently launched your franchising program? Can you share your expansion plans?
JH: We launched the My Elder Advocate franchising program in 2015. Initially, we are aiming to open 10-12 locations throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Florida. Within five years, we project to have 100 locations throughout the country plus an international presence.
FC: How does the business model work for prospective franchisees?
JH: My Elder Advocate is completely compensated by our clients. We offer an affordable solution to elder care with mostly flat-rate fees that are reasonable for many middle-class families.
In a typical scenario, franchisees can expect to conduct an initial needs assessment with a client and then either design a long-term care plan or work to solve an immediate crisis, such as nursing home placement. Then, in many cases, they might provide ongoing services, such as monitoring or home care management. Many clients will become lifelong customers offering continuous sources of income.
Unlike other companies in the senior care space, such as home health care franchises, there is low overhead to operate a My Elder Advocate franchise. In that respect, our business model more closely aligns with business consultant franchises than ones typically seen in the elder care industry.
FC: How big is the elder care market?
JH: The elder care market is huge and will only get larger as the country ages at an unprecedented rate. Informally, Americans spend $522 billion a year caring for aging friends and relatives, according to a study from the RAND Corporation. That figure will greatly increase as the baby boomer generation ages. In fact, the CDC reports the number of Americans aged 65 years and up is expected to double in the next 25 years.
FC: What characteristics are you looking for in franchisees?
JH: We are interested in partnering with individuals seeking a rewarding and financially lucrative career. Whether you are an accomplished executive who wants to escape corporate America or have experienced the challenges of elder care firsthand and are passionate about helping elders and their families, the My Elder Advocate opportunity could be right for you.
FC: What type of training will franchisees get to become experts in the field?
JH: The beauty of our franchising model is that prospective franchisees don’t need to come from a health care or elder care background to successfully operate a My Elder Advocate franchise. That’s because we’ve developed a patent-pending training/execution methodology that can quickly make anyone an expert in solving elder care crises.
Based on my countless years helping elders, it seamlessly walks franchisees through seven of the most common elder care issues and scenarios, resulting in individualized solutions for our clients.
My Elder Advocate also offers advertising and marketing assistance, including a website, as well as ongoing training from our head office.
FC: How much does it cost to start a My Elder Advocate franchise?
JH: The total initial investment to open a My Elder Advocate franchise ranges from $98,000 to $125,000.
FC: Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
JH: If you’re interested in starting a My Elder Advocate franchise or wish to learn more, please visit our website at www.MyElderAdvocate.com.