How Starting a Home Care Agency Increases Your Community’s Social Capital

The concept of social capital is broadly defined as “the resources available to individuals and groups through their social connections and communities” (p. 395).

Of course, like most academic definitions, this one continues to evolve as it is contested, expanded, and refocused, but it is generally accepted as a “public good” that is made available by a collective community. With that in mind, we must not confuse social capital as being related to individual social relationships; so starting a home care agency that services the general public would increase social capital, whereas offering to help your mother-in-law would not.

Social capital is positively correlated to successful aging; in other words, the greater the social capital of a given community, the greater the odds that its inhabitants will have happy and healthy senior years.

Cannuscio et al. (2003) support this claim with a discussion of collective versus individualistic social capital. According to their research, older individuals are generally at higher risk of losing important, individual social ties as they grow older; family and friends may move away, pass on, or simply become too busy to remain as close as they once were. As a result, seniors will have significantly less access to familial caregivers. Without adequate senior care options, these individuals become at risk of injury, illness, complications, and deterioration of chronic conditions.

How Starting a Home Care Agency Increases Your Community’s Social Capital 

As seniors’ individual social capital decreases, their dependency on their community’s collective social capital rises.

Starting a home care agency in your community is one of the most direct ways of increasing the social capital that these individuals need to age successfully. Rather than having to coordinate care through personal social networks, seniors will be able to either support or replace familial caregivers with highly trained Executive Care support staff. Even those fortunate enough to maintain thriving social networks into old age benefit, as the value of our specialized care services cannot be matched by untrained familial care.

Turning back to research by Cannuscio et al. (2003), we can also see how starting a home care agency also increases community health by promoting “individualism over institutionalization” (p. 397). Rather than sending seniors to nursing home care centers that often serve as the “epitome of social isolation for elders… [being]  geographically segregated from vital community centers,” Executive Care’s home-care services allow individuals to age in their own homes. This means greater social inclusivity, and lower likelihood of losing individual social ties as discussed earlier.

Learn More About Starting a Home Care Agency

If you’re considering starting a home care agency, the time is now!

Researchers have indicated the amount of social capital available within US communities is declining, which is especially troubling given that the dependent over-65 population is growing bigger and faster than ever before.

Visit http://www.executivehomecarefranchise.com to learn more about how to increase your community’s social capital by launching a rewarding career in senior care!

References

Cannuscio, C., Block, J., & Kawachi, I. (2003). Social capital and successful aging: The role of senior housing. Annals of internal medicine, 139(5), 395-399.