Making a Business of Caring: Women Entrepreneurs in the Aging Life Care Profession
October is National Women’s Small Business Month. As a credentialed Aging Life Care® professional and nurse care manager, I belong to the Aging Life Care Association® (ALCA) and am honored to serve on their national board. The practice of aging life care and the role of care providers have captured a national spotlight, as generations of baby boomers age in the United States and abroad.
ALCA recently took a closer look at the entrepreneurial spirit fueling the aging life care profession. A recent poll of ALCA female members reveals that 84% are small business owners. And of those women who do not own their own business, half work for a woman-owned small business. And their business? Providing guidance and care management for older adults and others facing ongoing health and aging challenges. ALCA women entrepreneurs have made a business of helping and caring for others. While 50% of the women entrepreneurs of ALCA have been in business for more than 10 years, a new generation of small business owners is on the rise with 20% of members in their first three years of business.
Looking a little closer at the caring demographics, nearly 70% of caregivers scale back on their own careers to care for an aged family member – the majority of these caregivers are women between 40-70 years old. With the average length of caregiving lasting four years or more, this seriously disrupts their earning potential, career track and yes, even retirement plans. Aging life care professionals support other women to navigate complex aging issues and reduce caregiver burnout while staying productive. For many, the core of their business centers around women helping women and is both economically purposeful and deeply meaningful.
“It’s an exciting time for our profession – not only for the women business owners, but for all of our members with entrepreneurial spirit,” says Taney Hamill, ALCA’s Chief Executive Officer. “The ‘silver tsunami’ is here and our professionals are at the ready with the highest standards of care management. As an association we equip members with business skills and a unique network of mentorship and knowledge that cannot be found anywhere else.”
As a member of ALCA for the past 14 years, I couldn’t agree more! For more information about aging life care services for an aging loved one or exploring a career as an aging life care professional please visit aginglifecare.org. For a list of resources for family caregivers. please visit Aging Answers NYC.