As the baby boomer generation gets older, many are beginning to face the challenges of staying in a familiar home as they age or having to decide to relocate to facilities that are friendlier to aging adults. Naturally, most Americans (over 80% by some accounts) would rather age at home. That desire has led aging-in-place remodeling to become the fastest growing segment of the remodeling industry. And who better to lead that charge than industry professionals specially trained in aging-in-place design: the Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS for short).
What is Aging-in-Place?
A good place to start is with aging-in-place itself. Aging-in-place is a design philosophy that looks at remodeling and home building from the perspective of the aging population. In short, it's a building philosophy that strives to make average homes as accessible, helpful, and free of obstacles as possible. That means everything from building stairless front entryways to installing variable height countertops in kitchen remodels. Literally every aspect of a home, from lighting to layout, is influenced when a residence is built or remodeled with aging-in-place in mind.
NAHB and CAPS
No one is more in tune with growing trends in the building and remodeling industry than the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Seeing the growing need for experts in aging-in-place remodeling, the NAHB created a special licensure program that trains participants to become Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists. In the beginning, the program was mostly taken advantage of by those in the remodeling industry. However, with the aging-in-place movement growing, and only looking to get bigger, more and more general contractors, home builders, architects, designers, and care providers have entered the program and left with the knowledge needed to help aging homeowners transform their homes into residences they can grow old in comfortably.
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What's so Special about an Aging-in-Place Specialist?
Understanding aging-in-place isn't just about learning a few remodeling tricks. It's about understanding the needs of the aging population and developing flexible solutions to the many challenges common homes provide. That being the case, CAPS are not only trained in aging friendly solutions to common remodeling projects, they are trained to understand the entire aging process and its unique demands. By understanding the nature of aging, a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist is the best contractor possible when it comes to assessing your home, developing designs to make it more universally livable, and to follow through on those designs by performing the remodeling work.
Whether you are currently in need of aging-in-place home improvements and remodels, or are considering a major remodel and want to incorporate aging-in-place into the design to wisely prepare for the future, a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist is the first person you should call.