What is Aging-in-Place?
Aging-in-Place simply means being able to remain in your home safely, independently and comfortably as your ability levels change due to age and/or disability. Aging-in-Place may require different levels of home modifications; some as simple as installing hand rails or grab bars, while other modifications can include remodeling an entire house for wheelchair accessibility.
What is a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS)?
This designation is awarded to professionals who have been trained in the techniques, strategies and planning of universal design and home modifications. Working closely with architects, designers and caregivers, specialists are trained in:
The unique needs of older adults
Aging-in-Place home modifications
Common remodeling projects
Solutions to common barriers
The CAPS program is regulated by the Remodelers Council of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
What is Universal Design?
Universal design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.
Universal design is related to aging-in-place remodeling and a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) can help you remodel your home using universal design concepts. The NAHB Remodelers in collaboration with Home Innovation Research Labs, NAHB 50+ Housing Council and AARP developed the CAPS program to address the growing number of consumers that will soon require these modifications.
Everyone can use universal design! It doesn't matter if you are young or old. You could be short or tall, healthy or ill. You might have a disability. Or you may be a prize-winning athlete. Because of universal design, people who are very different can all enjoy the same home. And that home will be there for all its inhabitants even when their needs change.
Here are some of the more common universal design features that are also incorporated into aging-in-place remodels:
Some universal design features just make good sense. Once you bring them into your home, you'll wonder how you ever lived without them. For example: