Ask seniors where they want to live as they age and the answers will undoubtedly be unanimous: they want to stay home.

As a result, it’s important for professionals working the long term care market to know how to understand what it takes to reach this important sector. Home care is any service that helps someone remain safe and independent in whatever place they call home, whether it’s their own residence or an independent or assisted living community.

Home care can run a gamut of services from activities of daily living — eating, dressing, toileting, bathing, transferring and continence — to non-medical care, which includes companionship, light housekeeping, medication reminders, errands and shopping.

These are tasks that seniors’ families often performed and many still do. Times have changed, though, and families are pulled in many directions, which makes providing such care much more difficult for loved ones. That’s where home care professionals come in.

So how do you fit into this market? Here are five effective ways:

  1. Design a policy that works for your client. Ask your clients what kind of future they want and it will be easier to develop an individualized plan that can allow them to stay at home.
  2. Build a relationship with your client. Get to know the client and establish trust.
  3. Don’t sell on fear or doom and gloom. Don’t scare a client into thinking he or she could be forced into a nursing home. But present the positive story of what remaining at home can mean to seniors as they age.
  4. Be authentic. Clients will know if you don’t have their best interests at heart.Helping seniors age with dignity and respect is a worthwhile goal that will establish you as a knowledgeable senior-care expert and community partner.
  5. Share a mutual purpose. Sure, your clients will know you’re selling a product, but make helping them remain at home part of the purpose you both share.

Paul Hogan is CEO and co-founder of Home Instead Senior Care.