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09 Dec

Laundry opportunity in home healthcare

As the healthcare market continues to evolve and change on a daily basis, laundries must also be willing to change or alter the way they do business in order to thrive. A perfect example of this is how the care of our elderly and loved ones has changed.

With the aging of the baby boomer generation, we’ve seen enrollment in elder care, for nursing homes, long term care facilities, home healthcare and hospice increase. The home healthcare segment presents a good option for families seeking to care for their loved ones in the final stages of their lives in the comfort of their own home while being surrounded by their families.  Healthcare workers can focus more intently on individual patients and provide additional care. 

Unfortunately, I can speak with firsthand knowledge as my family and I just went through this with my father. At 90 years of age, his health was deteriorating and it was necessary to admit him to a long-term care facility and in his last few months of his life, he was in a hospital- run hospice. As a close-knit family, we felt our father deserved to fulfill his life while at home and being surrounded by those who mean so much to him. 

Having our own laundry and now working with laundries across the country, I immediately recognized the important role a laundry can fill in assisting families as they turn to home healthcare. As my father became incontinent, we had the choice of going disposable or re-useable.  I immediately reached out to a local laundry and made arrangements for them to deliver weekly sheets, pillow cases, towels, wash cloths and incontinent pads for the staff to utilize while taking care of my father. 

As an owner/operator of a laundry, you need to ask yourselves is it profitable enough for us to get involved in this type of business segment?  I think it is! Families are willing to pay a premium for a convenient service to make their loved ones more comfortable. The home healthcare caregiver also appreciates the service of getting clean linens on a weekly or bi-weekly delivery as well as it allows them to be more professional in the type of care they administer. 

While visiting my father one day, I spoke to the route man who delivers to my parent’s home and he noticed the increasing traffic of family and friends coming and going from the house. He suggested to my mother the possibility of dropping a clean entrance mat to reduce the amount of germs and dirt being transferred and carried into the house by family and friends making their daily visits. Being concerned about possible germs being carried into the house, my mother did not balk at all about having a clean entrance mat changed on a weekly basis.

Bottom line here is that in times of sickness and with more and more of us resorting to bringing our loved ones home to fulfill their last stages of life, laundries can and will play a larger role in home healthcare. I know how it helped us and for that I say thank you to our local commercial laundry for making things easier to bear.

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