The 10 Hottest Industries in Franchising

Senior Care

Home Instead Senior Care
With seniors as one of the fastest-growing segments of the population, it's no surprise that franchises serving this demographic weathered the recession especially well, and new ones keep popping up every year. A total of 20 in-home senior care franchises ranked in this year's Franchise 500(R).

Fast facts
Home Instead Senior Care has topped the Senior Care category eight times in the past--but the last was in 2005.

At No. 59, this is the company's highest Franchise 500(R) ranking ever.

In 2003, Home Instead's founders started a foundation to support nonprofit organizations that improve the quality of life for seniors.

Home Instead Senior Care is easily the largest of all of the franchisors on the list, with close to 900 franchise units, including nearly 50 added in 2010. Though the franchise now serves thousands of seniors, it was one particular senior, the grandmother of founder Paul Hogan, who inspired Paul and wife Lori to start the company in 1994. Since then, Home Instead has branched out across the world, with locations in the U.S, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia. Caregivers provide nonmedical companionship services such as meal preparation, medication reminders and housekeeping, all of which allow seniors like Hogan's grandmother to stay in their homes and maintain their independence.

Home Instead Senior Care
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 59
Nonmedical senior-care services
(888)484-5759
Cost: $50.6K-63.6K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 892/1

Comfort Keepers
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 62
Nonmedical in-home care
(888)329-1368
Cost: $57K-79.3K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 661/0

Visiting Angels
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 88
Nonmedical in-home care services for seniors
(800)365-4189
Cost: $52.3K-84K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 391/0

Home Helpers/Direct Link
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 96
Nonmedical care services
(866)708-8921
Cost: $47.2K-86.4K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 658/0

Senior Helpers
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 97
In-home care for seniors
(800)760-6389
Cost: $74.8K-98.8K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 284/1

BrightStar Care
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 152
Medical/nonmedical home care & medical staffing
(877)689-6898
Cost: $90.9K-155.7K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 163/1

ComForcare Senior Services Inc.
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 164
Nonmedical home-care services
(800)886-4044
Cost: $80K-115K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 150/1

Right at Home Inc.
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 165
Senior home care & medical staffing
(877)697-7537
Cost: $63.6K-99.7K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 224/0

Always Best Care Senior Services
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 174
In-home care & assisted living placement
(888)430-2273
Cost: $50.1K-90.7K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 110/0

Synergy HomeCare
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 182
Nonmedical home care services
(480)659-7771
Cost: $53.3K-115.3K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 111/0

Homewatch CareGivers
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 183
Medical & nonmedical home care, temporary medical staffing, transportation services
(800)472-2290
Cost: $58.5K-90K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 178/3

The Senior's Choice Inc.
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 195
Nonmedical in-home senior care
(888)725-3655
Cost: $54K-72K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 187/0

Accessible Home Health Care
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 196
Medical & nonmedical home care & staffing
(954)341-5600
Cost: $107K-124K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 92/1

Griswold Special Care
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 222
Nonmedical home-care services
(215)402-0200
Cost: $60K-85K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 104/9

Home Care Assistance
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 251
Nonmedical in-home senior care services
(650)462-9501
Cost: $51K-159.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 54/3

Preferred Care at Home
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 373
Senior home care
(866)690-7733
Cost: $57.5K-79.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 47/1

Acti-Kare Inc.
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 407
Nonmedical in-home senior care
(888)451-5273
Cost: $25.7K-41.6K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 21/0

Touching Hearts At Home
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 410
Nonmedical home care for seniors& disabled people
(877)870-8750
Cost: $41.8K-62.4K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 31/0

Assisting Hands Home Care LLC
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 436
Nonmedical in-home care
(208)442-7426
Cost: $66.5K-135K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 29/0

HomeWell Senior Care
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 482
In-home senior care
(800)354-7553
Cost: $48.5K-67.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 33/1

Companion Connection Senior Care
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: NR
Medical & nonmedical senior care
(800)270-6949
Cost: $21.8K-45.8K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 89/2

FirstLight HomeCare
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: NR
Nonmedical in-home care services
(877)570-0002
Cost: $49.9K-69.6K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 13/0

Guava Healthcare Inc.
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: NR
Medical/nonmedical home care services, staffing & transportation
(888)482-8224
Cost: $61.95K-127.9K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 2/1

Home Health Mates
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: NR
In-home medical & senior care
(888)278-4645
Cost: $89.9K-134.4K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 5/0

Stay at Home
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: NR
Nonmedical in-home care
(865)692-1101
Cost: $49.9K-69.9K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 10/0

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Tracy Stapp Herold is the special projects editor at Entrepreneur magazine. She works on franchise and business opportunity stories and listings, including the annual Franchise 500.

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This article was originally published in the March 2011 print edition of Entrepreneur's StartUps with the headline: Buy In While They're Hot.

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