According to AARP, the number of Americans considered "baby boomers", that are over the age of 65, is expected to double from 40.2 million in 2010 to 88.5 million by 2050. This graying of our American society has some pretty large implications for the future of our economy, our housing market, the job market, and much more. Simply put, we are amidst a great paradigm shift due to the changing needs of our aging population. Fortunately, organizations such as AARP, the National Council On Aging, and even the National Association of Home Builders has acknowledged this paradigm shift and are taking measures to prepare the public, businesses, and our homes for these changing needs.
Safe senior housing is one such need that has become a huge focus for senior advocates and senior focused organizations. We already know from previous blogs and external sources that 90 percent of seniors over the age of 65 want to live at home. The National Association of Home Builders is one organization taking the initiative to help senior homeowners successfully age-in-place, which is a term used when someone wants to live in their own home, independently, comfortably, and most importantly, safely, regardless of ability level or age. Through their comprehensive certification program, the NAHB in collaboration with other agencies is helping to train businesses, business owners, contractors, and others who work in the senior care industry by offering courses and ultimately a certificate in the specific area of Aging-In-Place. The goal is to highlight senior safety above all else. This certification is referred to as CAPS- Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist.
Certified Aging in Place Specialist
According to the NAHB website:
“The NAHB Remodelers of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in collaboration with Home Innovation Research Labs, NAHB 50+ Housing Council, and AARP developed the Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS) program to address the growing number of consumers that will soon require these modifications. While most CAPS professionals are remodelers, an increasing number are general contractors, designers, architects, and health care consultants.”
If seniors are to achieve their goals of safely aging in place, it’s essential that those who work with our aging population are properly educated and trained on the unique needs of this growing demographic. With that training comes an understanding of the safety code and standards for senior-friendly remodeling projects and home building guidelines, common expenditures and projects, product ideas, and a complete understanding of the resources needed to provide practical aging-in-place solutions. Those who complete the CAPS program are pledged to uphold a code of ethics and required to maintain this earned designation by attending continuing education programs as well as participating in community service.
Why We Need CAPS Professionals
Since a majority of falls occur in the home, making that home a safer place for aging adults is the easiest, most affordable solution for keeping those seniors who want to stay living at home as safe as possible. To prevent falls, there are a number of modifications that can be added to a home. From installing grab bars, to purchasing shower stools, to adjusting the lighting in a home, the smallest tweaks will increase the safety of the home and prevent falls.
Finding stylish, affordable grab bars and fall prevention devices isn’t the hard part; we offer an extensive collection of grab bars in all different shapes, sizes, colors, and styles. For our customers, the most common question has been, “How do I install this properly?” While at Safety In Place, we do our best to offer ADA guided instructions on properly installing grab bars in our installation help blog, not everyone is handy with a drill or able to use one. This is where finding a CAPS certified contractor or handyman to assist you with your home modifications can make all the difference.
Finding a CAPS Professional
Looking for a list of CAPS professionals in your area? Here you’ll find the official NAHB directory listing all homebuilders, contractors, and business owners who have the CAPS certification. So, when you are ready to make your home or business a safer place, make sure you as your handyman, “Are you CAPS certified?”