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Aging Americans require more and more services--are you tuned in to their needs? A senior-care franchise could be your big break in this growing industry.

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This story appears in the May 2004 issue of Start Up.

For many seniors, the golden years represent a period of relaxation--a breath of fresh air after a lifetime of work and responsibility. For today's entrepreneurs, meanwhile, the golden years also mean a golden opportunity. Visible on the horizon is an unprecedented demand for senior care, as the first wave of baby boomers turns 65 in 2010. Born between 1946 and 1964, this unique market will soon push the number of Americans ages 65 and older to 39 million. And as America grays, the senior-care franchise industry is gaining new life.

In the next 30 years, the number of people 65 and older is expected to double, and the number of people over age 85 will triple, according to James Firman, president and CEO of The National Council on the Aging, a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to improving the health and independence of seniors. "There will be a huge expansion in the need for services to help people stay at home or in whatever facilities they're in," he says. The senior-care industry will "definitely be a major growth industry."

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