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Advocate Aurora Enterprises, Advocate Aurora Health's new subsidiary, is expanding its suite of senior care services with the acquisition of in-home care company, Senior Helpers.
Through its over 320 franchised and corporate-owned locations in the United States, Canada and Australia, Senior Helpers provides seniors with in-home services ranging from specialized care for those with chronic diseases such as Alzheimer's, to companion care.
Announced on April 1, the acquisition is Advocate Aurora Enterprises second investment.
Based in the Midwest, Advocate Aurora Health recently formed Advocate Aurora Enterprises to invest in businesses dedicated to care beyond traditional clinical care settings. The subsidiary is tasked with focusing investments in three key areas - aging independently, parenthood and personal performance.
Senior Helpers' leadership team will remain in their roles.
WHY IT MATTERS
The need for home health services is growing as the baby boomers age into retirement.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, one in every five U.S. citizens will reach retirement age by 2030.
The demand for home health is growing, but home care providers have challenges with workforce recruitment in a job that can pay as little as $13.80 an hour or $22,000 a year, according to Home Health Care news. In New York, the number of caregiver positions is expected to grow from 440,000 in 2018 to over 700,000 by 2028, the organization said, citing a report from researchers at The City University of New York and the Association on Aging in New York.
President Joe Biden's proposed $2 trillion American Jobs Plan includes $400 billion toward expanding access to home-based or community-based care and improving the wages of caregivers.
And perceptions of aging are changing. At the Connected Health Conference in Boston in October, 2020, experts discussed how the healthcare industry often dismisses those over the age of 50 when it comes to marketing products and services.
At the conference, chief public policy officer for AARP Debra Whitman, explained that people's needs do not simply boil down to wanting to live longer, it is about people having quality of life and control.
"Senior Helpers furthers our transformation into a destination health company that goes beyond sick care to provide wellness offerings," said Jim Skogsbergh, president and CEO of Advocate Aurora Health. "The ultimate goal here is to give people more healthy days within the comfort of their homes doing the activities they enjoy. This aligns with our purpose of helping people live well."
THE LARGER TREND
Advocate Aurora Enterprises' acquisition of Senior Helpers comes hot on the heels of its first move, which was to invest in Foodsmart, a nutrition telehealth platform. In March, the subsidiary announced it led a series C funding round of over $25 million in the platform.
Foodsmart aims to make health eating affordable and accessible through services like personalized recipes, grocery discounts and nutrition guidance.
The establishment of Advocate Aurora Enterprises is not Advocate Aurora Health's only initiative focused on wellness programs.
In 2018, the nonprofit health system contributed $2.1 billion in charitable care and services including behavioral health and school-based care, wellness screenings, workforce development initiatives and community-building efforts.
ON THE RECORD
"The need for high-quality, in-home senior care has never been greater. We see all sorts of opportunities to enhance our suite of senior services as part of Advocate Aurora Enterprises' portfolio, because we share many of the same core values," said Senior Helpers CEO Peter Ross. "Given Advocate Aurora's scale and their experience as a premier healthcare provider, which aligns with the work our franchisees are already doing, we'll be better positioned to expand best-in-class care and wellness services for seniors."